Ryan is one artist's plea with himself and his idol to keep at it -- "it" being life, art, and everything in between. The film's greatness lies in its tone, which is elegiac rather than sympathetic, and its animation, which sees people as industrial rainbows marked with individual red-orange-yellow-green-blue-violet badges of courage. Landreth will win the Oscar for which Larkin himself was nominated in 1970. The award will be a testament to both.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Ryan Larkin, the drug-addled inspiration behind Chris Landreth's Oscar-winning animated short Ryan, died on Wednesday at 63. I remember seeing Ryan at Telluride in 2004 and thinking, "Well, this is going to win the Academy Award." It's a beautiful short film, and renders the tug-of-war between addiction and genius (Larkin was a respected animator himself) with some fanastic and inventive effects. Excerpted from what I wrote in Feb. 2005: