Thursday, 24 July 2008

Never Cross a Black Cat – Charlatans short films by Poison Pen Films

Never cross a black cat is the latest short music film for The Charlatans by local production studio Poison Pen Films, the music promo arm of the studio Mezzo Films based in Headingley, Leeds. Poison Pen have worked with a lot of big bands recently including The Holloway’s on their video for the song ‘Generator’ and The Pigeon Detectives for ‘I’m not sorry’.

The ‘Never Cross a Black Cat’ films are a take on the superstition that you shouldn’t cross in front of a black cat – except this time it means don’t annoy one. The promos tell the story of an old lady and her black cat, in the first video the lady is gently rocking in her rocking chair, with the black cat at her side, its tail wagging under the rocking leg of the ladies chair – which is fine until they get out of sink and the cat gets its tail caught. The video then zooms in on this ‘innocent’ cat and you see what the cat would like to do to the old lady to get its revenge – and you realise why you shouldn’t cross it. The second video is based on the same idea, except this time the lady is going down some stairs on a stair lift holding a cup of tea.

The stories themselves are fun and I like the way the tension builds and the audience has no idea how the cat will react but it is the wonderful sketchy look of the illustrations and animations – it looks as if illustrated by hand with a black biro. I also really like fuzzy, crackly look of the furious cat when the camera zooms in – it looks just how you feel when something causes you to see red.

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