Saturday, 3 October 2015

Filmed in Supermarionation

Sky Arts served up a treat last night with the 2014 feature length documentary Filmed in Supermarionation, which celebrates the work of Gerry Anderson and the team of supremely talented puppeteers and designers who created Thunderbirds... This very comprehensive film gathers together all the key players and includes a wealth of archive photographs and vintage behind-the-scenes footage - and particularly wonderful to see designers and technical people interact with the puppets and models. What emerges most emphatically from the documentary is the Herculean task of creating Stingray, Thunderbirds and later series like Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons and Joe 90, the evolutionary leaps Anderson and his team made from early puppet series like The Adventures of Twizzle to the Thunderbirds films. Anderson's productions were still regularly aired on TV when I was growing up (Terrahawks from 1983, I particularly remember), but I was in too much of a hurry to move on to more adult fare, and often scoffed at what I thought was Thunderbirds' corniness. But in recent years I've grown to admire Anderson's series more and more and have come back to it via Kaiju jamborees and the films of Jan Švankmajer and the Brothers Quay... Filmed in Supermarionation gets a second airing on Sky Arts later this evening at 6:45pm, and is highly recommended.

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