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Derwent Envy (1998)

Directed by: Sarah Watt
Written by: Leanne Evans, Sarah Watt
Starring: Carolyn Bock, Cherise Donovan, Jacqueline Jozwin, David Tredinnick
Links: Derwent Envy on the IMDb
Genre: Short

This movie gets: 7.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

Derwent Envy (1998) is also mentioned in pearly's review of Look Both Ways (2005).

"The differentiator" - a review by pearly

Derwent Envy is quite a different film to the others that I have seen of Sarah Watt's. For one, its themes are quite different (most of her films depict water as one of their main elements), but on top of this, it is not 100% animation, but intersperses live action with shorter animated segments. The brilliant thing about this is that it showcases Watt's talent not just for animation, but her style when it comes to directing actors on screen. It would also appear that this film, which is one of her more recent ones, paves the way for her first foray into feature films, as Look Both Ways (2005) is also apparently made up of both animation and live action.

I saw seven of Watt's short films in one sitting at the 2005 MIFF, and this one stood out from the others because of its obvious differences to them. However, in a couple of ways, it is also quite similar. One of the main characters, the mother of two young girls, suffers from the same kinds of issues that many of Watt's other characters do.

The concept behind the title of the film is quite clever: the two girls in the film love to draw, and they are jealous of the girl who lives across the street, because she has one of those huge boxes of Derwent pencils. The pencils are used as a basis to form the drawings which then become the animated portions of the film, and then we jump back into the live action to see what's happening with the girls next.

Derwent Envy is an unusual little film, and it stands out because it shows what Watt is capable of. It is funny in parts, a little worrying in others. I'm left wondering whether Watt can do better.

pearly gives this movie 7 out of 10.
Review created on Wed 3 Aug 2005

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