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You can watch the animated short film Crust here in its entirety.

The protagonists of this surreal drama are seated at the kitchen table arguing over a broken biscuit. Evenrude (voiced by Bruce Currie) resembles a medieval knight with a propeller head, the other figure (voiced by John E Hughes AKA Hobart Hughes) has a head that is a cross between a football and an African sculpture. Each figure sees a fish – supposedly the protagonists’ dinner – circling in space. Inside the biscuit, a hardworking ant works for a 'crust’ to feed his family.

Summary by Antoinette Starkiewicz

This film features a nice reversal of roles, as the fish attempts to feast on the diner’s finger. There is a self-referencing touch, and a revealing moment, when the arm of the animator (played by Paul Livingston) is seen to be animating, or manipulating one of the protagonists (after one of the characters asks, ‘Do you ever get the feeling that you’re being manipulated?’). The music by the Even Orchestra evokes an underwater ambience, adding to the surreal feel of the film.

The two main characters also appear in Germ of an Idea, a prequel to Crust made by John E Hughes in 1986.

Crust Synopsis

The protagonists of this surreal drama are two semi-assembled figures (voiced by John E Hughes and Bruce Currie). One resembles a medieval knight with a propeller head, the other’s head is a cross between an AFL football and an African sculpture. Seated around a kitchen table, they argue over a broken biscuit. Each hallucinates a different fish – their elusive dinner. A family of hardworking ants has the last word.

Curator's Notes

The setting for this film, a kitchen, is the only familiar element in the otherwise surreal and hallucinatory world of Crust. Created by artist John E Hughes (AKA Hobart Hughes), the story of this stop-motion animation makes as much sense as a dream, and resembles one, with its vivid yet disconnected characters and action. The dialogue between the two protagonists entertains and surprises, and the talking ants are most appealing.

An evolution of a previous work by John E Hughes, Germ of an Idea (1986), Crust won the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Short Animation in 1987. It screened at the 1988 Melbourne International Film Festival and was broadcast on SBS TV as part of Eat Carpet in 1990.

Notes by Atoinette Starkiewicz

Director and story:
John E Hughes (AKA Hobart Hughes)
John E Hughes (AKA Hobart Hughes) and Bruce Currie