The Hopper by Alex Brüel Flagstad

Clay-Motion, Stash House Stick-Ups, West Baltimore, and fluffy pancakes.

The Hopper is not your average clay-animation story. 16 year old Dexter lives with his grandmother in west Baltimore, Maryland. One night Dexter and his friend Kevin rob local drug dealers, but things do not work out as planned and violence spins out of control.

“Most people regard clay animation movies as children’s movies. They take a certain cuteness and naivety for granted with animated characters acting in a funny story. I knew this from the very beginning of the project and thought this offered a great opportunity to catch the audience off guard. I wanted to tell a story in a clay-animated universe where the premise of the real world is somehow maintained – "realistic” violence and “real” people with “real” problems (i.e. “real” hallucinations from “real” drugs).
The Hopper aims at capturing the mood and feeling of West Baltimore, Maryland. In a way it is paying tribute to The Wire, a series which completely blew me away: so perfectly written and realistically told. I grew up with HipHop and rap music and have a deep rooted love for this music and culture. I think this kept me going, making every nerdy detail as real as possible. Normally I am very impatient person but stop-motion and clay-animation is unbeatable, you just can’t rush it.
I’d be very happy if people watching The Hopper would at some point forget that they are watching a clay-motion movie.“

Alex Brüel Flagstad

The Hopper will be shown at the 10th Berlin International Directors Lounge:

DL selection VII

Tues 11 | 8pm | space A