A ship sets sail on an epic voyage through malignant natural and supernatural elements from which one man alone survives. An adaptation of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner illustrated by nineteenth century wood engravings which are animated by scratching directly into the surface of colour filmstock. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner with its message of ecological redemption has a curiously contemporary resonance, but it is at the level of the mythic that the poem has lasting relevance; for this epic tale of extraordinary events simply mirrors the struggle that each human being faces on their own in his or her life.


(14.30 minutes, colour,  1998, scratched into 35mm - 35mm/DCP)


'This work is extremely realistic in its reproduction of human forms, churning waves and rocking vessels on the sea, which clearly have been created with the use of live-action reference footage...In terms of The Albatross's imagery, the intersection of documentary and fiction is quite strong, with the underlying live-action footage evoking a sense of the real while the etched images are themselves quite stylized.' Maureen Furniss


'A beautifully animated, suitably poetic adaptation of Coleridge's 'Ancient Mariner'. Forever teetering on the brink of abstraction, the visuals are at once immaculately realistic and appropriately mythic.' Geoff Andrew - Time Out


'Watching the Albatross is like reading a book by moonlight on a boat.' Chris Robinson - Unsung Heroes of Animation




Produced, Directed, Animated and Edited by Paul Bush

Featuring Julian Maynard Smith and Dean Proctor

Voices - Gerard Murphy, Jack Fortune

Music - Geoffrey Bush

Musicians - Simon Lock, Andrew Bernardi, Rebecca Low, Diane Porteous, Ryan Smith, Gary Holdsworth, Richard Wainwright

Choir - The Exmoor Singers directed by James Jarvis

Script - Paul Bush adapted from Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Animated by Paul Bush, Mie Nagai, Mina Mileva

Camera - John Stewart, Paul Bush

Costumes - Joanna Macklin

Sound design - Andy Cowton

Executive Producers - Colin Rose, Maggie Ellis, Richard Gooderick

An Ancient Mariner Production copyright 1998


A BBC Bristol/Ancient Mariner Co-Production in association with The London Production Fund and The Arts Council of England, supported by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of England.


Best Film under 15 minutes - Zagreb Animation Festival 1998

Special Jury Prize - Hiroshima Animation Festival 1998

Best Film - Cinanima 98, Portugal

Alves Costa Award - Cinanima 98, Portugal

Gold Conch - Mumbai International Film Festival 2000



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