The Secret of Kells Presentation by: Charles Hedges David Sargent Xicheng Huang My-Duyen Pham
Released in February of 2005, The Secret Of Kells was an Irish/Belgian co-production that went on to garner various nominations and awards in film festivals, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature. The film is loosely based on the story of the actual Book Of Kells, an Irish illuminated manuscript from the late 9th century. The film follows Brendan, a young monk at the Abbey of Kells inIreland, as he seeks to discover what lies outside the massive walls of the Abbey, and also to help the old monk from Iona named Aiden complete the book he has been working on. The film was directed by Tom Moore, and written by Tom Moore and Fabrice Ziolkowski.
About the Book Of Kells• The actual Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript of the Gospels of the New Testament. Illuminated manuscripts were elaborately copied and decorated religious books created by monks in the early middle ages.• The Book of Kells was created by Celtic monks sometime around the 9th Century CE. In addition to the text, the book contains images of mythical creatures, humans, celtic knots, and various elaborate patterns in different colors. The book was kept at the Abbey of Kells for many centuries. It now is on permanent display at the Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland. Cover of the Book Of Kells
About the Book Of Kells ( continued) • Though there is no doubt that the Book Of Kells was created by Irish Monks, there are 5 different theories of exactly where and when it was produced. Some say it was written entirely at the older Abbey of Iona, and then the illustrations were added at Kells. Others offer that it was produced entirely at Iona, and moved to Kells during the Viking invasions. There is evidence that the book has changed hands several times, and was possibly stolen at least once, due to some damage and missing pages. • The filmmakers use this mystery surrounding the books history to create an ending not often seen in animated films.
The films ending, while ultimately hopeful, is not a typical “happy ending”. The filmmakers use the unknown origins of the actual book to create their own idea of what might have happened: Brendan and theaging Aiden narrowly escape the Viking invasion. They gather the existing pages of the book and travel the countryside for years, working on itscompletion. After Aiden dies, Brendan (now a young man) returns to the Abbey. He discovers that only the villagers who made it inside have survived the attack, and his Uncle, Abbot Cellach, has become a fearfulguilt-ridden old man. Brendan presents him with the book, which comes to live in colorful moving images as the film ends.
Brendan• When Brendan was very young, his parents died in a Viking attack. Fortunately, he was able to survive. He then became a poor orphan until one day, Abbot Cellach decided to adopt him. From the on he was raised by Monks and Brothers. • Twelve-year-old Brendan is bright, imaginative and inquisitive, but leads a sheltered life due to his uncle forbidding him from venturing outside the walls of Kells. • However, Brendan is brave, courageous, friendly and intrigued by what lies beyond the walls of Kells which gave him the initiative to venture outside and take a journey. • Brendan is very interested in the art of illumination, and spends much of his time in the scriptorium with some of the Brothers in the abbey.• He is recruited as Aidans assistant to help finish his great book.
Aisling• She is a guardian of the forest outside of Kells.• The word “aisling” means “dream vision” and is also a poetic genre in the 17th and 18th centuries in which the spirit of Ireland itself manifested in visions and was personified by a woman.• Aisling, is one of the Tuatha De Dannan ( People of the Goddess Danu), a race of people who have become minimized and marginalized through history to resemble small creatures now called "fairies“.• This group of people in Irish mythology are derived from pre-Christian era pagan deities.
Pangur Ban• A fictional white cat that belongs to Brother Aiden• Pangur Ban is a reference to a poem of the same name that was written by an Irish monk about his white cat.• Pangur ban’s eyes are mismatched, a tell tale sign in Irish mythology that the character is connected to the supernatural.• This cat is disdainful and is cautious about who to trust• Intelligent and loyal
Aiden • Brother Aiden is based off of Aidan of Lindisfarne, a missionary and monk who lived on the island of Iona in Scotland. • As the Vikings attacked the Scottish island of Iona, master illuminator Brother Aidan fled with his cat, Pangur Bán. • In Kells, he acquires Brendan as an assistant. • He is unable to continue his work on the book because of his failing hands and eyesight and begins to teach Brendan the art of Illumination. • Cheerful and incredibly energetic, Aidan has clearly not let go of his childish side, despite the fact that he carries the immense burden of loss and responsibility. In addition to his well- known illuminating skills, hes also well-versed in the art of making ink, and teaches Brendan how to do so.
Abbot Cellach • A former illuminator • Abbot Cellach now uses his talents for the purposes of designing a wall to protect the Abbey of Kells from invasion. He is very concerned for everyones safety, especially that of his nephew Brendan, to the point where he thinks of little else but the completion of his wall. Eventually, this leads to his downfall.
Christianity• Though the contents of the • The Book and, to a large Book of Kells isn’t degree, Christianity specifically mentioned in represent the light in the the film, certainly the darkness, the enemy artwork is heavily against the pagan intruders influenced by illuminated and the old gods that stalk manuscript. the land.
Christianity Continued More than a light in the darkness, the wallsthat Abbot Cellach construct around Kells canbe seen to represent the walls that Christianity builds around the dangers of the Vikings and also the old beliefs, of demons and bloodthirsty spirits of the old Celts.
The Old Gods• The indigenous beliefs of Ireland are also present in the film. Aisling, a main character in the film who helps Bredan throughout, is a fairy and likely a member of the Tuatha Dé Danann, a race of immortals that predated the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. She possesses supernatural powers, namely the ability to shapeshift.
Crom Cruach• Brendan is instructed by Aidan to retrieve the Eye of Crom Cruach. Crom is a diety in pre-Christian Ireland, represented by sacrifice and bloodshed. “Crom” means bent or crooked, “Cruach” means bloody or gory. In the film the diety is represented by a vicious snake. Brendan destroys the snake with chalk, a writing instrument representing his devotion to illuminating the text of the Gospels.
Major Themes• Old vs. New• Light vs. Darkness• Learning vs. Ignorance• Preservation• Coming of age / fulfilling expectation
The Secret of Kells Movie Clipshttp://cli.ps/8vWk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =MTPAvY4y0pY
The movies visual debt to Celtic medieval art, rendered through traditional animation techniques, cut a unique profile in an age obsessed with computer-generated, 3-D spectaculars. The Secret of Kells have drawn upon traditional Celtic art as inspiration for as much of this film as possible. Celtic symbols are hidden everywhere. The approach the animators took to drawing nature was the same as earlier Celtic artists — seemingly-chaotic visuals of nature are broken down into structured, repeating patterns. The result is different, ofcourse, because the tools are different. But in a sense, this film is Celtic art, applied to a modern medium.
• Celtic art is ornamental, avoiding straight lines and only occasionally using symmetry, without the imitation of nature central to the classical tradition, often involving complex symbolism.• Celtic art has used a variety of styles and has shown influences from other cultures in their knotwork, spirals, key patterns, lettering, zoomorphics, plant forms and human figures.• Celtic art is the art associated with the peoples known as Celts; those who spoke the Celtic languages in Europe in from pre-history through to the modern period, as well as the art of ancient peoples whose language is uncertain, but have cultural and stylistic similarities with speakers of Celtic languages.
The Early Medieval art of Britain andIreland, which produced the Book ofKells and other masterpieces, and is what"Celtic art" evokes for much of the generalpublic in the English-speaking world, iscalled insular art in art history. Insularart, also known as Hiberno-Saxon art, is thestyle of art produced in the post- RomanHistory of the British Isles.Both styles absorbed considerableinfluences from non-Celtic sources, butretained a preference for geometricaldecoration over figurative subjects, whichare often extremely stylised when they doappear; narrative scenes only appear underoutside influence
ContributionsCharles Hedges: Major Charles Hedges: MajorThemes, cultural Background Themes, cultural BackgroundDavid Sargent: David Sargent:Overview, Source Material Overview, Source MaterialMy-Duyen Pham: My-Duyen Pham:Powerpoint, Characters Powerpoint, CharactersXicheng Huang: Xicheng Huang:Animation, Video Clips Animation, Video Clips