Saturday, March 10, 2007

Paul Whittington: Android 207

Reviewed by: Victor Schwartzman

Android 207 is not a poem, a short story or novel. It is a film—a ten minute black and white movie.

Why is it being reviewed on this site? Because it is fine underground work, and that is what this review blog is all about. Android 207 is fine alternative film making.

The film maker is Paul Whittington, his website is

Android 207 is one spunky little fella. He does not look quite like an android. His head, in particular, is a human skull, with pop-out white eyes. His body, while robotic, is curiously human. Especially his face: eerie, but human.

Our little hero finds himself, suddenly, in a vast maze. The maze is filled with threats. There are huge spikes that thrust out from the walls and then retract, pits to fall into, dangerous electrical bolts to fry him, moving try to crush him and, perhaps worst of all, a very nasty machine with rotating spikes is hunting him down.

There is even another android, hanging by its hands at the end of a corridor, who needs his help.

I first came across this film on It was stop motion animation, came recommended by the site, so I ordered it. The cost was well under $10.

I’m a big Ray Harryhausen and Willis H. O’Brien fan. They are the two prime movers in theatrical stop motion animation. Phil Tippett and Jim Danforth are other well known names. This Paul Whittington guy, making the most of his limited budget (the spikes coming out of the walls are just large nails), is as good as any of them technically, and superior to the last two in infusing his animation with emotion.

You forget this is a stop motion puppet. Android 207 quickly feels real. He is courageous, frightened, and compassionate.

The end of the film pulls it all together, but I am not a big fan of spoilers, especially in good films. Let’s just say that the film is an allegory of very real issues. An allegory about work and its tests. About manipulation and the big forces that try to control us. About our lives in this society.

What more can anyone ask of underground writing? So what if it’s a film?

Consider going to Whittington’s website to find out more about this film. Also check out indieflix, which has a large number of underground films, many of which look worth your time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hey - I just discovered Android 207 and I agree it's a great piece of film making. can't help but root for the little robot to make his way through the dangerous maze. the robot evokes humor and sympathy and you grow to be proud of his creative solutions to the challenges he faces. excellent technical work in creating a believable character in a believable world even though you know it's fantasy. I hear Ironweed Films is going to put this out as one of the shorts on their December disc to go with a feature film about visioning the future. well worth having this little gem.

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