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Review: Who I Am and What I Want (2005)

Directed by: David Shrigley, Chris Shepherd | 7 minutes | animation, comedy, short film | Original voice cast:

Nicely made animation about Pete, a man who lives in the forest and refuses to adapt to social and societal conventions any longer. It is a journey through Pete’s twisting thoughts and / or a report of his actual experiences – the makers leave this aside – full of absurd incidents. The voice of actor / comedian sounds completely controlled and normal, while the character Pete comes across as quite loose and abnormal. This beautiful contrast is further enhanced by the black humor with which the film is sprinkled. “Who I Am and What I Want” is certainly funny, but in a somewhat disturbing way.

With its bizarre twists and turns and brutal excesses, the trip through Pete’s mind – whether it is all “real” what he claims or not – is not one to forget quickly. Although the is quite simple, in black and white and mostly rough lines, it suits the subject very well, and the smooth transitions and speed with which Pete’s adventures are portrayed makes this hardly noticeable. This striking style and absurdist story make “Who I Am and What I Want” a special and entertaining film. Makers are the British and Chris Shephard. Shrigley is the artist of the film, studied at the Glasgow School of Art and earned his spurs with, among other things, twenty books. He also directed the clip of Blur’s “Good Song”, designed the titles of the film “Hallam Foe” (2007) and has regular exhibitions of his work in museums around the world. “Who I Am and What I Want” is based on one of his books. Chris Shephard shares Shrigley’s fascination with the dark sides of people, co-directed and co-wrote the story.

Shephard is best known as a director and writer, although he himself was also responsible for the for a number of films. In any case, together they made a very special short animation film, as you don’t often see them. “Who I Am and What I Want” won the Tiger Award for Short at IFFR in and also won awards at festivals in the UK, Ireland and Hungary.

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