Shaun Tan, whose Eric (an excerpt from Tales from Outer Suburbia) I reviewed here a few months ago, won the Oscar this week for Best Animated Short Film. (Tan shared the prize with British producer, Andrew Ruhemann). This is the third time, I believe, an Australian film has won this category, the previous ones being Adam Elliot‘s Harvie Krumpet and Bruce Petty‘s Leisure, both of which I’ve seen and would happily recommend.
Tan’s film is titled The lost thing, and is based on his 1999 picture book of the same title. Like Eric, it is (to be very simplistic) about difference and, accepting it or not, but unlike Eric it is set in a more dystopian, alien world. I need to see it now, clearly.
Shaun Tan was born in 1974 … he already has a swag of awards to his name. He also has a positive and flexible attitude to sharing his art. In an interview in 2009, he talked about directing The lost thing and its being a close adaptation of the book, and about how with other adaptations, he has said “Do what you want”. I like this, this willingness to be “precious” about some projects but let other things go and see where they are taken:
My approach has always been to remain very open to adaptations of my own work in other media, and trust in the vision of collaborators. This is partly because I see my own imagery as open-ended and ‘unfinished’. (Shaun Tan)
He is a man to watch.