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William Allinson's New Math (2017)

Just enjoy the tripping cadences of Worth's words, the craft of Allinson's ever-shifting clay, and let the meaning live in the experience of it.

Screenshot from William Allinson's New Math (2017). Stop motion image of a person's head, with flowers all around them. There are two red daisies covering their eyes

NOTE: This Monday short was originally posted on July 1, 2019. We are re-uploading some of Peter Hemminger's amazing Monday Shorts until further notice.

The poem by Liz Worth that underpins William Allinson's 2017 short New Math is a dense and difficult one. The synopsis says it's a recently dead woman examining her recently lost life, but it's anything but a straightforward recollection. It's dense and swirling, playful and sad, reveling in its language while defying any obvious reading.

That's what makes it so well suited to Allinson's clay creations. In the animator's hands, anything can easily become anything else, undercutting the imagery of the poem with new visual metaphors, or revealing new depth with a surprising twist. New Math isn't a film to be watched once and understood. It stands up to multiple viewings from multiple angles, but it's best if you don't treat it as a puzzle to be deciphered. Just enjoy the tripping cadences of Worth's words, the craft of Allinson's ever-shifting clay, and let the meaning live in the experience of it.

dir: a film by William Allinson based on a poem by Liz Worth

syn: A dead woman recalls the triumphs and failures of her recently lost life.

2017