Double Take: The Art of Elizabeth King

Full disclosure. I am not an expert in art by any stretch of the imagination. When it comes to art, I know it when I see it. I am, though, naturally curious about everything. So, delve into the world of the art documentary with Jody Beckers’ Double Take: The Art of Elizabeth King.

Elizabeth King is a sculptor and a stop-motion animator. She’s not an animator by trade, but she’s an artist. She doesn’t use her art to make full-length features, like Isle of Dogs, but uses her sculptures, models, and puppets to replicate life. You know, like an artist.

Like any good art documentary, we are treated to an overview or evolution of King’s work. Her sculptures start with minimalistic basic wire figures with clay heads to medium-sized dolls representing her grandmother to intricate models of the head and hands with highly articulated joints.

“…meticulous in the way she constructs her models and thoughtful approach she has to bring it to life.”

It reminds you of behind the scenes footage of an Aardman animation, but she doesn’t have a workshop of dozens of sculptors and animators. It’s just her—a student of human form and movement and a self-taught expert in woodworking and machining. King is incredibly meticulous in the way she constructs her models and thoughtful approach she has to bring it to life.

On the other side of the coin is King herself. Born in 1950, today she is still excited and curious about life. She clearly loves what her art and loves passing her knowledge on to others. She’s also passionate about the form itself. There is an interesting discussion about the “dead eye” issue faced in art and in many CG and animated films.

Jody Becker’s documentary about King is well-paced and insightful into the life and work of Elizabeth King. King’s personality and passion shine brightly on the screen and her art is original and interesting to see come to life.

Double Take: The Art of Elizabeth King (2018) Written and directed by Olympia Stone. Featuring Elizabeth King. Double Take: The Art of Elizabeth King screened at the 2018 Newport Beach Film Festival.

3.5 out of 5 stars

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