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Bunny and the Bull

Bit of an oddball film recommendation for you today. BUNNY AND THE BULL is the 2009 feature debut of PAUL KING, director of THE MIGHTY BOOSH, who went on to helm the superb PADDINGTON, the even more superb PADDINGTON 2 and, most recently, WONKA. I discovered that it’s currently streaming free on YouTube in the UK via the StudioCanal channel, so thought this would be a good time to write about it. Rather than bother with a trailer, I’ve embedded the full movie below after a brief synopsis cribbed from IMDB.

A young shut-in takes an imaginary road trip inside his apartment, based on mementos and memories of a European trek from years before.

This isn’t the kind of film I’d normally recommend here, but I think it’s well worth your time. EDWARD HOGG and SIMON FARNABY are well cast as two pals embarking on a haphazard trip to the continent, and King’s arresting and distinctive visual style is perfectly suited to the structure of a road trip story. The way he uses animation and sight gags to seamlessly move between scenes and situations is a joy. Though it features many familiar faces, it’s less surreal than the BOOSH, and obviously much darker than the PADDINGTON films, but the approach works just as well. If anything, the cameos from RICHARD AYOADE, JULIAN BARRATT, NOEL FIELDING and the like slightly disturb the flow of the story precisely because they’re so familiar. The relative anonymity of HOGG suits such a nervous, withdrawn, and quite tragic character.

I’ve always been interested in the way humour can be used as a counterpoint to other emotions, heightening their impact. For example, when you watch a movie and you’re laughing one moment, terrified the next, the shocks and jump scares are elevated by the gulf between humour and horror. As evidence, I give you the original EVIL DEAD movies, SHAUN OF THE DEAD, and countless others. In BUNNY AND THE BULL, the cartoonish, slapstick laughs act as a counterpoint to a story that’s much deeper than you’d expect, and as a result I think it really packs a punch.

As the entire film is available to stream for free, there’s no point me saying too much more. This is a very well-made, extremely quirky film that I think you’ll enjoy so, if you have a couple of hours spare this weekend, why not give it a go. If it’s your kind of film and you’re in the mood for more FARNABY and BARRATT, you should also check out MINDHORN if you haven’t already.

Thanks for reading.

Over the years I’ve recommended many films, books, and podcasts. You can find a full list of them here.

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