The Library

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Carnal Desires vs Library Etiquette

Wit, style & timing
— Miami International Animation Festival

Annie’s day at The Library starts like any other, but the intriguing man who takes the seat opposite her encourages her thoughts to stray. Theo is equally distracted, not least by his books on the Renaissance nude, which set his mind – and pulse – racing.

This four-minute animation was inspired by the historic London Library. There is a wonderful intensity to the silent relationships between people who see each other daily, but rarely exchange a word. When imagination is further stimulated by books, who knows what thoughts pass through their heads? Voyeurism becomes a central theme - that distracted gaze that amalgamates reality and fantasy until you forget where you are.

The animation added a dimension to our online outreach strategy - the underlying aim of which is to develop and engage an audience consisting of members and non-members. It helped to bring the atmosphere and quirkiness of the Library, so beloved by members, to life, gave content for the established literary following while also opening up small film festivals as a forum to raise profile and awareness.
— The London Library

Inspiration & References


The film draws on a wide range of inspirations, starting with the dominant materials in the library space: wood and paper. And so Director Leo Crane turned to the great woodcut prints of Die Brücke and German Expressionism for the character designs.

The rhythm is inspired by the habitual patterns of library readers: favourite seat, unconsciously repeated mannerisms. In this, the film is inspired by the great Pina Bausch, who developed and manipulated a rhythmic repetition to create tension and narrative in her dance pieces. Further inspiration comes from the animated film Repete, whose director Michaela Pavlátová uses the tension of repetition to breaking point. The Library also references pop culture cinematography from Baywatch and early Lynx adverts to add playful innuendo and sexual intensity.