May 18, 2023
NEW TO UK FILM REVIEW
Critics Chris Olson and Brian Penn host UK Film Club - a new film podcast covering all film types. From blockbusters to old favourites and even indie & shorts.
A tale of a child’s yearning to express himself is given a delightful warmth in this animated short film from filmmaker Sean McCarron. Sans dialogue, the 10-minute piece captivates, inspires, and delivers a wholesome story of trying to fly free.
In Corvine Robert MCarron voices Kevin (although “voices” may be a strong term, it’s just caw-caws I believe), a young lad who revels in pretending to be a crow in the fields around his home. His imagination runs wild as he frolics and life seems to be full of wonder and charm. Queue the record scratch when he is forced out of his crow costume and into a school uniform, where life suddenly becomes dull and lifeless. Furthermore, he experiences bullying at the hands of students who don’t take kindly to his passion for birds. How can a child soar above these soul-sucking pressures of fitting in?
Charming and exuberant, Corvine has the enduring quality of the best animated movies. Utilising a style that feels as traditional as The Snowman but as fresh as My Life as A Courgette, Sean McCarron contributes expertly to a filmmaking genre that transcends the ordinary milieu of cartoonish storytelling or children’s fables. It’s a coming-of-age film that can also apply to audience members of any age, tapping into a time when perhaps they felt freer and less burdened by the drudgeries of growing up and/or becoming “sensible”.
The score effortlessly carries the picture, with Suad Bushnaq capturing the purest essence of childhood during the opening section of the film when Kevin is full of happiness and wonder, only to completely rob us of it when his school uniform gets donned. The bullying scene is also arresting with its dynamic and enthralling tones, rattling the viewer.
We live in a society more aware (and hopefully, more accepting) of people’s eccentricities and natures, and yet childhood can often be a time when reasoning and rationalising are not applied. Kids can be cruel, as the saying goes. The film does include characters of all ages though, and this is key in exploring the topic of being true to yourself and championing one’s identity over integration.
Kevin’s journey through home life and school feels like a tug-of-war that shouldn’t be as tragic as it is but the themes are universal and enduring. The filmmakers hone in on something all audiences could relate to, making animation the spot-on choice for the delivery of this potent and stirring short film.