07 May 2014

Twins in the Bakery (ツインズ イン ベーカリー, 2013)

Mari Miyazawa (宮澤真理) is unique among recent Geidai animation graduates because in addition to being an animator she is a food stylist.  Long-time readers will know that I love a film that features food in innovative ways – check out my post Nami Iijima: Food Stylist Extraordinaire for a taste – so I was immediately drawn to Miyazawa’s work at Koji Yamamura’s presentation of Tokyo University of the Arts at ITFS 2014.

A former graphic designer in the computer games industry, Miyazawa uses real food and stop motion to bring a bakery to life in her first year short for the Geidai programme.  The twins in Twins in the Bakery (ツインズ イン ベーカリー, 2013) are a pair of sausage tips cope to life, complete with jaunty little hats made of cheese.   They live in a house made of white slices of bread, waffles, and oreo cookies.  The shrubs in their garden are pieces of broccoli.  The bakery is their playground while the baker's away.  The twins bounce over bread rolls, jousting with plastic swords, one of them turns a potato chip into a cowboy hat and plays with a lasso while the other pretends to be a DJ with slices of ham standing in for records.  Soon the twins are “waking up” the bread rolls and other baked goods in the bakery, with everyday treats transforming into animal shapes with the help of deli meat, chocolate, and other common sandwich and dessert toppings.   

The twins’ adventures are done as a series of vignettes in which Miyazawa exploits the ability of animation to make the ordinary extraordinary.   On her food blog, Miyazawa specializes in making cute figures out of everyday foods for bento boxes.  With her animation, Miyazawa has brought her wonderful creations to life. My only criticism would be that the voice-over narration in the opening is completely unnecessary.  At Pritt Pärn’s presentation of the Estonian Academy of Arts animation programme at ITFS 2014, he said that he made it a rule that students could not dialogue or a narrator for their films.  I think this is a wise idea, because it really gets students to think about showing rather than telling when using visual media. 

Check out Mari Miyazawa’s bento tips on her official YouTube channel.
Follow her blog on food art at http://www.e-obento.com/
Follow her on twitter: @Mari_Miyazawa

Catherine Munroe Hotes 2014