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One Night Only [Matt Bissett-Johnson, Australia, 2018]

August 20, 2019

 

In this surreal and often quite funny animation, animator Matt Bissett-Johnson presents the short but memorable tale of the amazing Pigly, a pig like creature who puts on the show of a lifetime to a crowd. Pigly appears to die on stage and the audience are informed of the circus’ no refunds policy.

 

The animation is both somewhat minimalist and delightfully strange, often putting this reviewer in mind of The Ren and Stimpy Show [John Kricfalusi, USA, 1991-1993] with its demented characters. The scratchy and faded colouring evokes an old-fashioned look similar to a Victorian “freak show”, adding to the oddness of Pigly’s performance.

Matt Bissett-Johnson (amusingly, the end credits credit him with “everything”) said he wanted to create a “stream of consciousness film.” One Night Only certainly gives off that vibe. Pigly’s transformations into various weird forms give the impression of boundless imagination and of letting the mind wander.

 

One Night Only is a short but memorable piece of animation that feels simultaneously indebted to classic animation, with its slapstick and bizarre imagery, but also feels fresh in its approach to stream of consciousness imagery and ultimately feels like an innovative use of the animation medium.

'One Night Only' was a film in consideration for Short Focus Film Festival 2019.

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