Topic: Brickfilm of the Week: The Letter (Mar 6, 2015)

This week’s Brickfilm of the Week is The Letter by James Maduzia.

Comedy is a strange, fickle beast. Everyone has different opinions on what is funny, and what isn’t funny. Different styles of comedy come and go, but if you’ve ever sat in a film class or movie theater and watched the old classic films by Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, you’ll realize that good old slapstick will always entertain. The Letter is the perfect encapsulation of classic slapstick in LEGO form. Released in 2003, this brickfilm quickly became an instant classic, and has often been cited in articles about brickfilming. James Maduzia made one other brickfilm Zero Gravity Rebellion, also a classic, and was interviewed by Brickfilms.com. While he only made two brickfilms, they both made a big impact on the brickfilms community.


Watch The Letter on YouTube

http://i.imgur.com/znTM7Ky.png

SPOILERY DISCUSSION BELOW!

The story of The Letter is dead simple: a man must deliver a letter. But the tricks and trials the man goes through to deliver said letter is what makes this film a classic. By foregoing dialog and relying just on visual gags and comedic timing, The Letter transcends languages and even age barriers. The Letter is a great brickfilm to show people who are curious about brickfilming, because it doesn’t rely on inside jokes, or hard-to-follow rapid dialog, or potentially offensive jokes (unless your audience is sensitive about kicking cats). It’s pure slapstick, just like Keaton, Chaplin, or Mr. Bean.

What are your thoughts on The Letter? What did you like about it? What did you think of the use of humor? Did you have a favorite moment?

Re: Brickfilm of the Week: The Letter (Mar 6, 2015)

The Letter is by far one of my most favorite brickfilms. From the first few frames of animation, I was instantly engaged.

The attention to detail in Maduzia's film is outstanding. The sunrise effect, while simplistic, works wonders. I am also very drawn to the set design, specifically the different building designs and the traffic lights. This film brings together masterful animation and story telling without the use of dialogue. The minifigure grunts and vocal sounds are hilarious and fit perfectly with the tone of the film.

Maduzia's style of humor, I think, stays consistant throughout the entirety of this film, as well as Zero Gravity Rebellion. There are so many great moments, from the cat and mouse fight, to the man's hat getting squashed, to just the overall idea of a man going through so much trouble trying to mail a letter. Great stuff.

The Letter has certainly made a huge impact on me and is definitely a necessity to watch. Much deserving of Brickfilm of the Week.

Re: Brickfilm of the Week: The Letter (Mar 6, 2015)

This was one of the first brickfilms I ever saw. I can't tell you how many times I've watched it. It's really amazing.

Re: Brickfilm of the Week: The Letter (Mar 6, 2015)

Willow Tree wrote:

The attention to detail in Maduzia's film is outstanding.

I agree. I haven't seen the film in quite some time and I was blown away by the simplest thing. The letter always has a front and back. James did not take the easy way out and simply film the actual back of the tile. The letter is the main character in the film and it is nice to see it was given the attention it deserved.

Great film.

Jared

Re: Brickfilm of the Week: The Letter (Mar 6, 2015)

This is one of the very first Brickfilms I ever saw, and it still remains a favourite of mine to this day.  I think part of the humour stems from the fact that something as simple and everyday as delivering a letter is elevated to ridiculous levels of difficulty in this film.  This Brickfilm has a sense of timelessness about it, and still feels fresh and enjoyable today.  I get the feeling one could show this film to anyone anywhere in the world and get a laugh from them.  The lack of dialogue and use of visual comedy is implemented especially well here.  I particularly love the funny background events

Spoiler (highlight to read)such as the unfortunate pedestrians getting run over by speeding cars, or the sign the homeless man holds

The sets are simple, yet well-made, in a style that feels "classic LEGO" and yet isn't dated or childish, and the animation and editing is excellent (I particularly like the cinematography and editing

Spoiler (highlight to read)when the protagonist narrowly avoids getting run over by the bus

).  I think, in a way, it's comedy reduced to its simplest form: a sequence of moving pictures, each with its logical reaction.  By following the logic, we get a joke.  Of course, "simple" comedy doesn't mean bad comedy--this film excels at comedy, and is a strong contender for being the funniest Brickfilm ever made.

Retribution (3rd place in BRAWL 2015)

&Smeagol      make the most of being surrounded by single, educated women your own age on a regular basis in college
AquaMorph    I dunno women are expensive