Eye For Film >> Movies >> Heatwave (2019) Film Review
Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson
The energies - and frustrations - of a day at the beach are as vibrant as a flamingo lilo in this animated short, directed by Fokion Xenos (who co-wrote the story with his editor Stella Heath Kerr). To start with his tiny stop-motion clay figures, each with a distinctive outfit and look, arrive slowly at the beach in their matchbox cars, but soon the trickle runs to a flood.
Once down on the sand, Xenos revels in the holidaymaking rituals - from attempting to undress beneath the skimpiest of towels, to fly swatting and a beach tennis game - as each of his miniature stories plays out in its own tiny loop, the music from Andreas Gutuen Aaser ramps up in the manner of Zorba the Greek. Meanwhile, one little boy tries to venture into the surf, while a little girl longs to escape her mother and join him.
Xenos goes above and beyond attention to detail, each character fully realised and, better still, he embraces the emotions of a hot day in the sun, allowing his imagination and his characters to break free of their moorings at just the right moments, whether they're melting from the heat or exploding with happiness.
Every department involved deserves praise here - from Kevin Langhamer's intricate sound design to lead modelmaker Thanos Kantzavelos' clever creations. Xenos joins a list of National Film and Television School alumni whose careers are well worth looking out for and his team were justifiably rewarded for their efforts with the McLaren Award for Best New British Animation at Edinburgh Film Festival last week.Reviewed on: 05 Jul 2019