Adam Buxton: I, Pavel

Note: This review is from 2005

Review by Steve Bennett

As half of Adam and Joe, Adam Buxton made playing with toys and filming it slightly less geeky, if still not exactly cool.

So it’s no surprise that home-made movies are a big part of his new creation, Pavel, a struggling experimental animator for the freezing, dull and tiny Scandinavian nation of Funsktttkk.

He cuts a shambolic, brooding figure in his frayed jumper, mucky jacket and phenomenally impressive beard. He barks short-temperedly at the audiences, flipping in an instant into moments of sinister darkness.

His approach to animation is rigid, with a set of Dogme-style rules it must adhere too, mostly designed to maximise the misery and the torment of viewer and film-maker alike.

It’s an interesting, unusual character – if not quite one that can sustain the full hour. Once the appalling personality traits are exposed, there’s only so much Buxton can do with it. And when we venture into the realms of poetry, we know the ideas are running dry – even if the paintbrush ode is pretty darn good.

But while the monologues may run out of steam, the films are generally a delight; and none more so than the utterly inappropriate versions of Nickelodeon cartoons Pavel created in an ill-judged attempt to get work.

He also dreams himself into a Stark Trek: The Next Generation episode to glorious effect and his Tiny TV Boss idea that our networks are run by toddlers is genius – and possibly not that far off the mark.

That these prepared films stand above all but a few segments of the live stuff suggests Buxton is still happier tinkering with a computer than he is performing on a stage (and I realise this is rich coming from someone writing on an Internet site). If there had been more of the fruits of this work, and perhaps a shorter running time, this could have been a real treat.

Review date: 1 Aug 2005
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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