×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Cartoon Saloon’s ‘Late Afternoon’ Takes Tender Look at a Woman With Dementia

Cartoon Saloon, the Irish animation studio, isn’t afraid to take on challenging subject matter in its own unique way, as evidenced by last year’s acclaimed feature “The Breadwinner,” the story of a young Afghan girl who disguises herself as a boy to help provide for her struggling family during Taliban rule.

This year, the toon shop examines dementia in the animated short “Late Afternoon,” about an elderly woman who travels into her memories whenever she glimpses her reflection.

The short was something that played in the mind of writer-director Louise Bagnall, Cartoon Saloon’s creative director, for years. “It had been something I’d been working on for quite a long time, just in my own sketchbook, in my own small way,” she says. “I had been watching documentaries and reading up about dementia and it sparked a memory in me of when I was a child and watching my parents looking after my respective grandmothers,” she recalls. Neither grandmother had dementia, but exhibited some aspects of memory loss.

Bagnall was also inspired by thinking about what her grandmothers’ lives had been like as young girls and married the two ideas together. “I was trying to think of a way to represent a woman’s inner life on screen,” she explains. “It can be quite abstract, you know. And I wanted to show the depth of who they are and what life they’ve lived. That’s kind of where the nebulousness of where the idea came from.”

Once the idea coalesced, she pitched it to her colleagues at Cartoon Saloon and applied for funding in Ireland. The film got the funding and has since won a number of awards at various film festivals, including the Tribeca Film Festival, where it won the award for best animated short, which qualified “Late Afternoon” to be considered for an Oscar nomination.

Bagnall has heard from audience members at various screenings who have felt personally touched by her film. “After almost every (screening), there’s somebody who comes up to me and wants to tell me that ‘this is something I’ve experienced’ or ‘This is something that really means something to me.’ That’s been amazing. It’s been really lovely to have people feel they can say that, that they want to tell me how it has been for them or their family.”

Veteran actress Fionnula Flanagan, who worked with Cartoon Saloon on 2014’s “Song of the Sea,” voices the lead character, Emily. She was attached even before funding was in place. “We [recorded the vocals] early on, when we were boarding, and she just got it,” recalls Bagnall. “She was brilliant to work with.”

Other voices were provided by Bagnall, Niamh Moyles, Lucy O’Connell, Michael McGrath, Caoimhe Ni Bhradaigh and Aislin Konings Ferrari. It was produced by Nuria Gonzalez Blanco with music by Colm Mac Con Iomaire.

More Film

  • Bruno GanzSwiss Film Award in Geneva,

    Bruno Ganz, Star of 'Downfall' and 'Wings of Desire,' Dies at 77

    Bruno Ganz, the Swiss actor best known for dramatizing Adolf Hitler’s final days in 2004’s “Downfall,” has died. He was 77. Ganz died at his home in Zurich on Friday, his representatives told media outlets. The cause of death was reportedly colon cancer. In addition to delivering one of the definitive cinematic portrayals of Hitler, [...]

  • Bruno GanzSwiss Film Award in Geneva,

    Bruno Ganz, Star of 'Downfall' and 'Wings of Desire,' Dies at 77

    Bruno Ganz, the Swiss actor best known for dramatizing Adolf Hitler’s final days in 2004’s “Downfall,” has died. He was 77. Ganz died at his home in Zurich on Friday, his representatives told media outlets. The cause of death was reportedly colon cancer. In addition to delivering one of the definitive cinematic portrayals of Hitler, [...]

  • Steve Bannon appears in The Brink

    Sundance Film Review: Stephen K. Bannon in 'The Brink'

    Stephen K. Bannon drinks Kombucha (who knew?), the fermented tea beverage for health fanatics that tastes like…well, if they ever invented a soft drink called Germs, that’s what Kombucha tastes like. In “The Brink,” Alison Klayman’s fly-on-the-wall, rise-and-fall-and-rise-of-a-white-nationalist documentary, Bannon explains that he likes Kombucha because it gives him a lift; he drinks it for [...]

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • Oscar OScars Placeholder

    Cinematographers Praise Academy Reversal: 'We Thank You for Your Show of Respect'

    Cinematographers who fought the decision to curtail four Oscar presentations have praised the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for reversing the exclusions. “We thank you for your show of respect for the hard-working members of the film community, whose dedication and exceptional talents deserve the public recognition this reversal now allows them to enjoy,” [...]

  • Peter Parker and Miles Morales in

    'Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse' Colored Outside the Lines

    The well-worn superhero genre and one of its best-known icons are unlikely vehicles for creating a visually fresh animated feature. But Sony Pictures Animation’s work on the Oscar-nominated animated feature “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” shows throwing out the rule book and letting everyone play in the creative sandbox can pay off big. “I think we [...]

  • Denis Villeneuve

    Denis Villeneuve's 'Dune' Gets November 2020 Release Date

    Warner Bros. has scheduled Legendary’s science-fiction tentpole “Dune” for a Nov. 20, 2020, release in 3D and Imax. “Aquaman” star Jason Momoa is in negotiations to join the “Dune” reboot with Timothee Chalamet, Javier Bardem, Rebecca Ferguson, Stellan Skarsgard, Dave Bautista, Josh Brolin, Oscar Isaac, and Zendaya. Production is expected to launch in the spring [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content