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Produced by David Verrall; directed and animated by Wendy Tilby
National Film Board of Canada, 1991. VHS cassette, 11:00 min., $21.95
Distributed by the National Film Board of Canada

Grades 5 and up/Ages 10 and up

Reviewed by David Twigge.

Volume 20 Number 2
1992 March

In my opinion animation has always been the high point of the very success­ful output of the NFB. Animation allows highly personal visions not possible in other film techniques. Strings by Wendy Tilby continues this tradition. It uses the technique of painting on glass and stop-action photography that will be familiar to those who know the works of Caroline Leaf (The Street).

Tilby's film is a wordless story of two people who live on different floors, one above the other, of the same building. She builds a model of the Titanic and he plays the violin in a string quartet. Though they seem suited to each other their meetings lead to no conclusion. A leaky bath brings them together but their mutual interest is thwarted by their inherent shyness and they return to their original condition of knowing each other only through the sounds that drift between the apartments. There is no dialogue in the film, only noises and the music of the quartet and the man's violin (written by Chris Cully and played by the Morency Quartet).

Tilby, a graduate of the Emily Can-College of Art and Design, won interna­tional honours for Tables of Content, and Strings is sure to get similar attention. The images are perfectly suited to the old world feel of the story. Because there is no dialogue it is appropriate for the deaf and hard of hearing as well as English- and French-language arts programs. It would also be appropriate for public library collections.

David Twigge, Burnaby Public Library, Burnaby, B.C.
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