The Life of a Bauble

Filmmaker Leigh Johnson Imagines the Inner Workings of the Humble Christmas Decoration

Understandably grouchy after spending 11 months of the year in a darkened closet, a bauble offers his dry, sardonic and dismissive verdict on traditional holiday decor in Leigh Johnson's po-faced short. "My favorite Christmas decorations are the ones my brothers and sisters made when they were young," offers the director, who collaborated with novelist Ned Beauman on the film. "I wish they still existed, but they probably had the same fate as the broken birdie [in the film]." Voiced by actor Roger Lloyd Pack, famous for his portrayal of simpleton Colin “Trigger'” Ball in popular English sitcom Only Fools and Horses, the ornament bemoans grotesque animals, insincere tinsel and unnatural fairy lights, before relating his adventures in the big wide world. "I couldn't immediately think of a model for a talking bauble, so in this case the character emerged bit by bit out of my collaboration with Leigh," says Beauman, whose debut Boxer, Beetle was shortlisted for both the Guardian First Book Award and the Desmond Elliott Prize for new fiction. "It was fun smashing the baubles,” says Johnson mischievously. “Especially after years of being so careful with them."

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