GDANSK (part one)
Part way through the Oats Studios Volume One disc I feel the need to report, yet again, on its contents. This is the third segment on the disc and immediately foolws a clever ‘made for TV’ spot that showcases the newest, you can’t afford to live without, kitchen utensil which is so osh darn effective it carves much more than metely the meat it’s aimed at. Keep smiling for the camera please. And (pregnant pause) its only three easy payments of.
Gdansk opens shrouded in thick fog. A lone man stands a stones throw away from a stone cottage, of sorts. He’s readying himself for what’s coming over the horizon, heralded by the sound of trumpets, many a hoof and the cacophanous gangling of many a metal chain and adornment.
A large company of knights break through the haze, relaxed and en masse. At the wave of a hand a mountainous Titan breaks ranks to advance on the figure. He hefts a hatchet within his grasp, he has a family and homestead to defend, but it’s no use. Moments later he’s yanked off his feet, high into the air. Squished into pulp in a matter of seconds. Dropped, he connects with the dirt twisted, bloodied and broken. His wife/daugter (?) looks on petrified, against the cold stone of the cottage, cradling a crying infant.
The scene ends.
It takes a few moments (for me) to realize that the segment is animated, and only because the colors, details, textures and movements (in some cases only ever so slight) are so explosively vivid and exquisitely lifelike. The gent, on whom the scene opens, is created with expert attention to even the minutest of detail, from the material of his tunic to the stern facial expression he sports. In an instsnt the viewer understands he has but one choice, to protect his family, at all costs. The landscape is desolate, drenched in low lying fog, dotted with scrub, sparse greenery and uprooted tree. The vivid tapestry is devoid of form, except for horses, their riders, the man and his cowering companion. The stone construct is the only building to be seen in the immediate vacinity. Each element is littered with intricacies enough to be more than believable conjuring an image all too reminiscent of what it must have been like in ye days of old (according to whatever remains of historian texts).
A 360 degree rotation is a great touch that serves to show the viewer the lone figures perspective, his unwavering stance and helps to relate a modicum of what he must be feeling in his predicament.
Of the many applaudable touches on display is the films grain, of a “grindhouse”, scatchy texture, which adds to the segments feel supplementing the ominous nature that the mist provides. Another aspect that warrants mentioning are the final moments of the segment. A sequence that focuses on the lady cradling her infant. Her expression of hopelessness and terror, and her hair fanning out in the breeze, is a fantastic addition to a segment which I didn’t expect the likes of but can wholly appreciate being both a fan of the fantasy genre and many a recent platform games cinematic extravagance which I can honestly say the quality of this stands alongside without any difficulties or question.
This may well put the viewer in mind of the Warhammer universe, Norath (although only humans are shown and not mutations of nature such as Orcs, Skaven, Dragon or any manner of other Chaos creature) or other fantastical role playing games found on the Playstation, PC or XBOX. In a nutshell the segment serves as testiment to the fact that Blomkamp and his crew, and assorted ‘special guests’ are more than capable to produce whatever their creative minds can devise/conjure no matter the challenges involved. I’m only three segments into the disc, it’s nowhere near complete and I’m beyond suitably impressed already. I eagerly await the next installment in this series, perhaps it will feature ‘beasties’ after all and whathe other treasures the remainder of the disc has to offer.
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