Thursday, 16 October 2014

edgar allan poe: louder, louder still

So, after Lewis Carroll and Edward Gorey, Edgar Allan Poe seems to be the third invocation in some kind of unintentional but apt trinity here. Ted Parmelee's 1953 animated version of Poe's Tell-Tale Heart is one of the unexpected treats of the British Library's Gothic Imagination exhibition in London: tense, abstract and a Hollywood cartoon that was definitely not for children. At least not Disney-fed children. Or even Rocky and Bullwinkle-fed children. Paul Julian's fractured designs, which were influenced by the theatre sets and paintings of Eugene Berman, are filled with see-through structures, looming shadows and sudden shocks of colour and angle. It's a horror that's drained of blood; instead it pulsates (there's really no better word, I promise) with the strangeness of Poe's murderous psychological nightmare in look and feel. But it does also look very pretty. Oh, and James Mason narrates too. Watch it - it's only 8 minutes long.

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