Shaun the Sheep

You may recall me mentioning that I’m involved with the local film festival this autumn. As part of that, school have asked me to introduce the film they intend to screen. The film they’ve chosen is Shaun the Sheep, so yesterday, in order to take my mind off other things, I popped to Woolwich to pick up a copy of the DVD. I just gave the film a viewing. I’d expected it to be just an average kids film, but what I found myself watching just now was quite an intricate filmic text ripe for analysis. As you’d expect from Aardman, you can read the film on many levels: for one, there is no (spoken) dialogue whatsoever, so the film can be seen to play with and comment on the conventions of storytelling. It’s also about a group of sheep going to look for their farmer/master lost in the big city, so there’s a lot of our old friend Walter Benjamn in there too: pastoral vs urban, tradition vs modernity etc. I can also see why it is such a good text for a special school to screen: devoid of dialogue, it draws one’s attention to the very mimesis of film, the structures of storytelling and communication.

Introducing it, then, will be most interesting. Before I decide what to say, though, I’ll need to rewatch it a couple more times. I better go get some guidelines from school too: I can see myself getting carried away and doing a full lecture involving Lacan, Benjamin and who knows what else on it. Frankly I’m relishing this opportunity to get back into film analysis again.

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