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Beware of Pärn

Hide the children, put away your daughters, he is coming. That prevert of the Baltics, Priit Pärn. The barely-a-man looks like a dressed up caveman.

Hide the children, put away your daughters, he is coming. That prevert of the Baltics, Priit Pärn. The barely-a-man looks like a dressed up caveman. Just try and talk to him. Hear those grunts? They’re real. This Estonian creature is a danger to all that is good and righteous and pristine about cartoons. He is everything Pixar is not: dirty, preverted, confusing, intellectual, some even say, funny. This is why the American authorities have him on their watch list. They wait for him to stumble so they can haul his ass to Guantanamo Bay and make him eat carrots (raw) and listen to ABBA.

Priit Pärn according to Andreas Hykade

Why you ask?

I have asked and no one seems to have an answer. One investigator likened the Pärn experience to getting a BIG box at Xmas. You open it to find another box, then open that box to find another box. Yet, unlike my experience of finding just a tiny box of nothing at the end, Pärn viewers will find something that confuses them. They don't know what to make of it. Is it a joke? Is it a deeply spiritual gift? What the hell is it?

Can you blame people for their befuddlement? The guy makes Breakfast on the Grass, a film that criticizes a society that everyone around him has been told to love. Did he not get the memo? Then, when his peeps do get freedom, he makes this Hotel E that asks if Western ‘freedom’ is really an ideal freedom. Is it any sort of freedom at all? What a nerve this Pärn creature has? How dare he ask such questions after his country has shifted from Soviet control to the glorious wonders of globalization, Tom Cruise and McDonalds?

Then comes 1895. Some folks ask him to make a film celebrating the birth of cinema and Pärn goes and makes a film that questions the necessity of film while suggesting that it’s dumbed us all down a notch because, get this, cinema has become our primary defining point for other cultures. Is he serious? I can’t stop laughing at such anarchistic thinking.

It just gets nuttier from there on. In Night of the Carrots, we’re told that if Y2K (remember when we all thought that every computer in the world was going to crash?) happened, it might actually be a good thing? Treason, I say.

And if his wild, paranoid stories aren’t bad enough, take a look at his drawings. Have you ever seen such vile, childish scribbling? I have a two year old that can draw better than Pärn. If Preston Blair or Walt Disney or any other hallowed voices of classic animation had to watch this anti-Christ of animation, they would race to confession to expunge the sins that Pärn’s “art” might inflict upon their snow white souls.

I need to stop here. Tears and anger overwhelm me. I want to spare you, dear reader, from endless nights of torment and confusion about your life and your world. Life is hard enough. The last thing we need to be doing is thinkin’ about STUFF.

You have been warned.

Chris Robinson's picture

A well-known figure in the world of independent animation, writer, author & curator Chris Robinson is the Artistic Director of the Ottawa International Animation Festival.