Bresnihan / Tammerägi: the most remarkable personalities of contemporary Irish animation
Rory Bresnihan and Jason Tammemägi are probably the most remarkable personalities of contemporary Irish animation; their works can be safely classified by their authorial mark of style specifics.
Bresnihan works mostly with plasticene, which relates to his past connection to the Aardmann studios, renowned for the Nick Park series about the master and his dog Wallace and Gromit. Certain similarity and kinship can be seen in the visual aspect and the movement of the figures. Typical of Bresnihan, however, is his work with the motives and the choice of motives. In his awarded film Ape from 2001, he uses his fascination with the gangster film and film noir genres, making the anthropomorphized animals do the tough crime routines, thanks to which the genre stereotypes employed in the film gain a new quality of entertaining cuteness, in seeming contradiction with the black-humor of the world-view. The same fatalistic note – in a similarly derogative spirit – was already heard in the earlier Guy's Dog or later God's Early Work, the nature of which alludes to the old testament satires by Roark Bradford Ol' Man Adam an His Chillun and Ol' King David an the Philistine Boys. Its stylistically consistent subordination of action to musical rhythm, its inspiration by jazz music, and a subtextual ironical grin alludes again to the early series by Walt Disney or the Fleischer brothers.
The work of Jason Tammemägi can be divided into two lines; one is represented by his films for children, finding inspiration in the needs, wishes and advice of his own offspring; the other commenting with decent sarcasm on the current maladies of the social situation in Ireland. As for his children's films, let us mention the brightly colored television series Fluffy Garden, a micro-world inhabited by simply and wittily stylized animals into whose everyday experiences Tammemägi coded simple lessons, comprehensible even to very young viewers. The second line of his work differs not only in theme and target but also in an abrupt change of animation style. Under the wings of his home studio Monster Animation, he made, for example, Not There Yet, a biting commentary on the Irish transport reform, naming all its flaws and problems in a brief and precise way.
Both filmmakers, each in his own specific way, represent an original and individual approach to animation as an instrument of authorative commentary on subjects worthy of commentary.
GUY´S DOG dir. Rory Bresnihan | Ireland | 1998 | 11 mins
APE dir. Rory Bresnihan | Ireland | 2001 | 26 mins
THE BUTTERFLY COLLECTOR dir. Rory Bresnihan | Ireland | 2001 | 3 mins
GOD´S EARLY WORK dir. Rory Bresnihan | Ireland | 2004 | 10 mins
LOTTO LADS IN LA dir. Rory Bresnihan | Ireland | 2007 | 1 mins
NIGHT OUT dir. Jason Tammemägi | Ireland | 2002 | 4 mins
DUBLIN 1 dir. Jason Tammemägi | Ireland | 2004 | 6 mins
NOT THERE YET dir. Jason Tammemägi | Ireland | 2005 | 6 mins
RAUSAGES dir. Jason Tammemägi | Ireland | 2005 | 3 mins
FLUFFY GARDENS dir. Jason Tammemägi | Ireland | 2007 | 2 x 7 mins
Episodes: TOOTY THE ELEPHANT; GEORGE THE MEAN YELLOW DOG
ROOBARB & CUSTARD TOO dir. Jason Tammemägi | Ireland | 2005 | 2 x 7 mins
Episodes: WHEN THERE WAS AN OPERA; WHEN ROOBARB WENT ON A FITNESS DRIVE