The disjointed debris of our childhood state still lurking within our adult consciousness act as a painful, disruptive force. A ghost-like little girl keeps tapping on a woman’s consciousness, demanding attention, recalling a traumatic childhood event and thus distorting the woman’s experience of the present.
8 min 23 secs, Digibeta, 16mm, 1996
Words: Harriett Gilbert
Father & Young Man: Kevin O’Donohoe
Mother & Young Woman: Sarah Strickett
Voices: Anthony May, Melanie Hudson, Camilla Hunsley
Live-action, Design & Production: Daniel Simpson, Adam Cutts, Mark Sewell
Lighting: Layne Comarasawmy
Editing & Sound: Tony Fish
Sound & dubbing: Nigel Heath
Compositing: Timo Arnall
Directed and animated by Marjut Rimminen
Produced by Lee Stork
A Tricky Films production for Channel 4 Television
Distribution: Tricky Films
GRAND PRIX, 1997 Tampere International Short Film Festival.
THE GRAND ANIMATION PRIZE, 1997 Vila do Conde Short Film Festival.
FIRST PRIZE, 1997 Fantoche International Animation Festival.
JURY SPECIAL PRIZE, 1997 Krakov International Short Film Festival.
2nd PRIZE in a category of BEST COMPUTER ASSISTED ANIMATION, 1997 Los Angeles World Animation Celebration.
HONORARY DISTINCTION FOR BEST ANIMATION, 1997 Drama International Short Film Festival.
FINALIST, 1998 British Animation Awards
DIRECTORS’ CHOICE AWARD for the Most Innovative Animation Work, 1998 The Images Festival, Toronto
A compelling work which succeeds in subverting conventional definitions of story-telling, animation and cinema. Tampere International Short Film Festival jury report 5th March 1997.
The Jury has granted The Bronislaw Chromy Award for enhancing the art of animation with the new means of expression to ‘Many Happy Returns’, directed by Marjut Rimminen. Krakow International Short Film Festival jury report June 1997
The director made a gallant attempt to show something multidimensional and truly elusive through skilfully employing unconventional means of artistic expression. Pjotr Dumala: President of the Jury in Cracow International Short Film Festival, interview in the Festival Gazette 3 June 1997.
The Grand Animation Prize for the most beautiful, but disturbing film ‘Many Happy Returns’. Jury citation, Vila do Conde International Short Film Festival 1997.
Marjut Rimminen’s short film has a similar disordered atmosphere with a visual disjointedness that aptly conveys traumatic memories. The shift from a woman in live action to a doll in animation enliven the world of the subconscious and conveys the fears of a child on the brink of disaster. This film illustrates the ‘state of mind’ film well as it conveys the world of the woman’s mind in such an abstract manner that the viewer has little sense of the details of reality but experiences an oppressive sense of atmosphere. The viewer sees the child like state of the woman’s pleas for safety which are seemingly mute and powerless. Cathy Johnstone, review in the Melbourne International Short Film festival July 1997.
The film is a moving narrative with an intelligent use of the evocative potential of modern cinema. Jury citation, Fantoche International Animation Festival 1997.
However, no doubt about it, the best film of the competition won the first prize. ‘Many Happy Returns’ by Marjut Rimminen, a Channel Four production, is a combination of puppet and live action elements. The subject is rather delicate: child abuse (remember Marjut Rimminen’s former film ‘The Stain’). There is not only emotional perplexity, but also a lot of strong images. The film is wonderful and very suggestively composed. It is like a kick in the kidneys. It was worth the visit to Fantoche to watch this film. In two years we will attend Fantoche again, hoping to see an improved festival with less theory and more practice, and to discover yet another masterpiece. One masterpiece is even more than you can expect … Thomas Basgier, Animation World Network Magazine issue 2.7.1996
Many Happy Returns can be viewed or downloaded and search by the director or title.
The film is available as “British Animation Awards compilation DVD, volume 1″
The film is featured in Clare Kitson’s book “British animation: The Channel 4 factor”.