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Neighbours1952

  • 4.1
In this Academy Award®-winning short film, Norman McLaren employs the principles normally used to put drawings or puppets into motion is used to animate live actors. The story is an allegory about two people who come to blows over the possession of a flower.

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4 members like this review

Easily one of the greatest discoveries I've encountered on this site. A new favorite of mine.

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top reviewer

Member Reviews (18)

196138.small
top reviewer

Easily one of the greatest discoveries I've encountered on this site. A new favorite of mine.

4 members like this review
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top reviewer

Say it with me now: "This is why we can't have nice things."

1 member likes this review

So simple, yet so few of us have figured it out.

1 member likes this review

In its simplicity, this short movie is very enticing and works like a parable: Two neighbors fighting over a flower and in the process losing sight of their humanity.

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

great!

A brilliant film by one of the greatest filmmakers, truly innovative soundtrack (drawn and photographed), with a poignant message.

These McLaren shorts are a lot of fun. Super inventive mind.

Norman McLaren manages to tell in eight minutes what some film makers struggle to say in two hours: That fighting is a futile gesture for we all wind up in the same place. It stars two neighbors who are friendly with one another until a flower sprouts up from the ground. At first they both enjoy the smell, but soon each becomes possessive. Fences go up, lines are drawn, and before we know it the two are at war with each other, destroying their lives and each other. Ironically, they even manage to destroy the flower in their rage, seeming to forget that this was the whole reason they started fighting in the first place.

The film features a mix of live actors and some animation, but most of it is done in stop motion, giving everything a surreal, animated feel. At times it seems very silly for where things eventually go…but then, the whole reason behind the war was silly in and of itself. Being so short means “Neighbours” isn’t a nuance film, but it’s very stylized and it gets the point across without become too preachy. I’m not sure this exact story would work in a feature film, but some film makers could probably learn a thing or two about how to tell this story effectively from this.

As I watched, I kept thinking "what if this had been put on the Voyager—what would the aliens make of us?"

I probably need to look at the credits for more - but it seemed very "fifties" in look and feel - perhaps anti-war? These are interesting to me because of the time inwhich they were produced.

fabulous, a short story of the nuisance of wars.

For a 1952 short film that I had never heard of prior to this site, I was incredibly impressed with the visuals and message that came across. The short starts out innocent enough, but spirals into violence and delivers the warning of greed, violence and the need to compromise instead of conquer. Very powerful for 8-minute cinema.

The last part has some very violent sequences that make even 8 minutes seem too long. Starts out cleverly and amusingly enough, though.

A parable that melds '50s suburbia and international relations. Use of stop motion gives the colourful, slapstick violence a flickery early/silent film feel. One criticism: the feuding neighbours' "devolution" into violent half-dressed figures with painted faces has not aged well.

Love and Rivalry. Peace and War. An amusing but profound visual parable! Watch it. Dig it.

Yes! It was great!

Great short. Truly a message to live by no matter how close or far our neighbor might be.

beautiful aesthetic fragmentation and symmetry. color luscious, also.