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 Toonhound & Cookie Law



British TV series

      "Murun Buchstansangur" (Timothy Forder / Bevanfield Films)

    producers: Timothy Forder and
                      Bevanfield Films Ltd for C4
cel animation
      episodes: 52 x 5mins

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    Murun Buchstansangur is an odd fellow. He's a small grey onion-shaped man
    with a mop of hair and big clog shoes and he lives in a crack under the dirty
    kitchen sink of an end-terrace house in a rather dreary, rain-swept suburb.
    And in here, this odd man with an odd home-within-a-home finds himself
    squaring off against a series of everyday problems, irks and points of view that
    need to be pondered, prioritised and rationilsed.
If Murun has any encounters with
    the wider world at all, they usually involve his blonde neighbour who pops over
    to share her own everyday matters of the heart, but usually only helps to
    fuel the general melancholia. Or a chap called Nigel Clarke who brings
    his own fresh dilemmas in to Murun's life.

    Murun muses and mooches. A lot. And that musing and mooching serves to
    confine him within that dreary little crack in the world. He spends a whole
    Sunday, looking for a small piece of navy blue raincoat lining. He becomes
    convinced that his eyes are too close together. He has to work his way through
    a list of precise actions before he can go to sleep... Oh, Murun..

    Here then, is a curious, grey series, with esoteric ideas - something for
    the mind, perhaps, rather than the heart. It strives for something to say
    about the world, in a Kafka-esque way. Is Murun actually our narrator in an
    existensialised form? Are we looking at this odd life through the eyes of
    someone incapacitated in some way, working through the days with an
    inbalance that puts them at odds with everyone and thing. Well, that's the
    point here. Timothy Forder's creation is surely representative of the quirks,
    worries and niggles that manifest in us all.

    And Murun's quirks obviously meant something to Channel Four, back in the
    day, because they commissioned 52 episodes, and they were still being
    broadcast well into the 1990s.

    Bevanfield Films went on to bring us an animated version of Bill the Minder.
    and adapted Frank Muir's What-a-Mess. In the 1990s they produced several
    animated specials, including adaptations of "Aladdin" and "Little Red Riding
    Hood". As well as these series and specials Timothy Forder also directed the
    1993 live-action feature "The Mystery of Edwin Drood".

    Murun Buchstansangur remains fascinating and oblique. And memorable,
    because its specific oddness lingers long in the mind of folks who've
    encountered it...

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    Home Dreary Home

    Come the second series, Murun's miniature home within a crack in the world
    is established in the opening sequence via two slow pans. The layouts are very
    Lowry-like, except there aren't any people or cars or - well - there's no life here
    at all, just that bleak run of bricks and mortar in the first, and greying kitchen
    walls in the second. Compare this to say, Mr Benn's residence in Festive
    Road which is a riot of cars and dogs and people and bustling social
    activity. Murun's sense of retreat and isolation is inescapable. As is Channel
    Four's desire to commission a series that's deliberately at odds with the
    bright childrens toon diets of the BBC and ITV network...

    "Murun Buchstansangur" (Timothy Forder / Bevanfield Films)

    "Murun Buchstansangur" (Timothy Forder / Bevanfield Films)

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    produced by Bevanfield Films for Channel Four
    producer:         Mary Swindale
    director:          Timothy Forder
    writer:             Timothy Forder
    prod co-ord:     Steve Flack
    animation:        Lys Flowerday, Anne Whitford
    paint & trace
      Janet Hawkins
    b'grounds:       Lys Flowerday
    artwork:          Hierographics
    rostrum:          Bob Skeggs
    sound:            Trevor Barber
    editors:           Mike Murray, Keith Brookshaw    
    narrator:         Timothy Forder

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    On the web

    Little Gems
    Murun gets a most-welcome page...

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© Bevanfield Films / C4 / F2012