It took Phil Tippett over 20 years to make his first feature Mad God, animated feature film in stop motion presented in a few months at the Annecy and Locarno festivals, at the Fantasia in Montreal and at the Sitges Fantastic Festival.
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A titanic undertaking, but for a man who began his career working alongside George Lucas in Star Wars and that literally revived dinosaurs on Earth for Steven Spielberg, time is a relative concept.
Mad God would see the light sooner or later
And it happened, thankfully.
A capsule falls from the sky and enters the bowels of the Earth. The mission of this soldier who came out of nowhere is clear, but secondary. There is a greater plan, the one that a mad God has put in place for humanity which has now come to collapse.
The plot of Mad God, which moreover would be impossible to tell. What we can talk about instead is the devastating power of a film that shows the abjection of our world in all its rawness.
A society in which men and women are machines and meat for slaughter, ruled by hierarchies dominated by money, power, religion. A civilization now at the end, just waiting to collapse, die, be replaced.
Mad God it is a philosophical treatise
A very powerful work, a virtually unique cinematographic object in the homologated contemporary panorama. Tippett assumes responsibility for his actions without any problems, as any free thinker should do, and he enjoys not a little fun in putting many cinematographic suggestions in his magnificent paintings step by step.
There is a lot of Monty Python and Terry Gilliam
But also Tarkovsky, Lynch, Cronenberg and above all Stanley Kubrick, but not alone. Tippett also pays tribute, and perhaps above all, to the one who was a prophet for him, a special effects artist. Douglas Trumbullobviously that of 2001: a space odyssey created the future and which is openly quoted by his disciple also in some sequences that refer to the magma he created for Terence Malick and his The Tree of Life.
Mad God it is in a cruel and poetic film that finds its very essence in its form. Protagonists of the history of humanity are puppets moved one step at a time by a mocking God. Clearer than that…