is a lot like School House Rock, but
with rampaging bikers and Kung Fu. It incorporates retro hand drawn animation,
stop motion, live action martial arts sequences, and exploding papier-mâché
heads. It is also a documentary. Fraser Munden and co-director Neil Rathbone
pretty much have it all in their thirteen minute true-story smackdown The Chaperone (trailer here), which screens
during this year’s DOC NYC.
Whims is a dedicated teacher and a natural bad-ass. To this day, he remains
cult-famous in his Montreal neighborhood for the night he faced down a gang of
bikers that crashed the youth social he was chaperoning. High and disorderly,
the bikers were knowingly terrorizing the intimidated church kids, until Whims
stepped up. He pretty much handled them Bruce Lee-style, but he got a timely
assist from the DJ, Stefan Czernatowicz—and they have remained close friends
ever since. It was the 1970s, this sort of thing happened back then.
and Rathbone give an animated blow-by-blow of the encounter and its pretty
awesome. They also throw in all kinds of weird interludes and asides, including
close-ups of the bikers’ heads going poof. (It’s a symbolically rendered poof.) They create a wildly funky vibe through the
appropriately funky soundtrack, the early ‘70s period details, and the
massively cool attitude. However, with his narration, Whims also offers some
darned practical advice to anyone facing down a pack of thugs. He knew how to
handle himself, that’s for sure.
Nostalgia is rarely as action-packed as it is
here. Pound-for-pound, second-by-second, The
Chaperone has to be the most wildly entertaining film screening at DOC NYC.
Highly recommended for fans of animation, exploitation teen films, and
afterschool specials, The Chaperone screens
before Rubble Kings this Sunday
Labels: Animated films, Canadian Cinema, DOC NYC '14, Short Films