Critical Portfolio

‘The Stain’ – Marjut Rimminen & Christine Roche



I desire to create great differentiation between characters and class systems in a somewhat harsh manner in my film. This is to get across the extremes and narcissism of the hierarchy. I mainly want to create this contrast through varied visual design.

‘The Stain’ uses a variety of animation techniques to create a ‘stressful roller-coaster’. Traditional drawn animation is more pleasurable, fluid and clean whilst the jerky nature of stop motion lends itself to quicker more unfamiliar and dirty, darker scenes. A great structural device is used of cutting the stop motion scenes in as on screen flashes within the drawn animation.

A greatly important feature is the witty, satirical female narration. This speeds up and clarifies the telling of the story while pushes the satirical ambiance the filmmakers were aiming for. I plan to utilise this device for my film, to speed up and summarise the telling of the story.

The script is also an explicit and effective approach of satire, which diminishes the “beautiful lady” to less adequate than her “rich husband” having to teach her most things. It goes on to sarcastically say how hard and important a man’s life is. It works to expresses the feminist intention. I compared the opening scene to Charlotte Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’. I hope to portray a fair political view through my own script.

Metamorphosis is used in the hand drawn animation, while the stop motion seems to portray the real world. This suggests a warping of the reality. There is one bloody scene, which resembles the bloody scene of the shining. Thus I believe Rimminen has used some stereotypical imagery and clichés to foreshadow and communicate her story. We also wait 2 minutes 40 seconds before we see stop motion and after the clause with onscreen text:

“In my opinion the family is probably the most criminal cell”
-Jean Genet

The narrative structure divides the film into three parts, each beginning with “Once upon a time” and a change in music. This is effective as the story is built up in a series of events.

Suspense is not only built up by the music, but dramatic music is used to emphasise dramatic scenes. Animation is synched to the music, which works effectively for the drawn animation, though there are few sound effects.

Whilst my goal is to reflect modern politics and society through the metaphors in my film, ‘The Stain’ is studious to psychological and feminist theories, which sometimes shine through in the narrative. The do not however, shine through in the visual design; rather the visuals reflect the spoken narration.

Pilling, Jayne. Animating the Unconscious – Desire, Sexuality and Animation. London: Wallflower Press, 2012. Print.,. “BFI Screenonline: Stain, The (1991)”. [ONLINE] N.p., 2016. Web. Available: 09 Feb. 2016.,. “Marjut Rimminen: The Stain”. [ONLINE] N.p. 2016. Web. Available: 09 Feb. 2016.


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