Is there anything better than a film or video that can truly move you to another place and time? I find that to be one of the most marvellous aspects of the moving image. Mental and physical transportation.
And in that regard; I’ve seen two web videos this week that I have to share. Both of them transported me to London; one of my favorite cities in the world (and somewhat a second home to me). This first clip is created by graphic designer and animator David Hubert. It is a short, exciting visual journey around the city – captured in still frames and edited together (to a Daft Punk song) in a breathtaking manner. After seeing this, I wanted to get on a plane as fast as possible (see it in HD here – and check out the comments thread):
And the second clip that made my heart jump for London, is something completely different; but just as delightful:
Today, I continue my presentation of short films here on Subtitles to Cinema. This time, it is an animated Norwegian short film with the long, yet precise, title: There’s a man in the habit of hitting me on the head with an umbrella (2005). The film is directed by Cathinka Tandberg, and tells a story that is… well, quite evident in its title. A man finds himself in the situation of being hit in the head with an umbrella (by another man). The absurdist and simple plot is derived from a short story by Argentinian writer Fernando Sorrentino, and has become a charming and melancholic animated short. Watch the 4 minute film – embedded below or in higher quality (I’ll share more of my thoughts after you’ve seen it):
What I really appreciate in this well-composed film, is that the comical essence of the situation is not exploited into cheap laughs and slapstick [sic]. Instead, Tandberg gives room for a subtle tristesse and creates two vulnerable, slightly tragic characters. I love how the simply cut drawings tells us so much about who these men are. Also, the film is a great example of how dialogue can be replaced by clear actions, and also in this case; very expressive music and sound. I felt every tap of the umbrella against the man’s head. Having seen this wonderful short many times now, both in festivals and online, I can also assure you that it holds very well upon repeat viewings.
A side note; I discovered on YouTube that quite a few individuals have used the same Sorrentino short story as basis for their short films (not animated). They’re without the same success as Ms. Tandberg, but for the curious ones it makes for an interesting comparison. You can find them here, here and here. (Btw, it’s a shame that some of them fails to credit the author.)
Every now and then, I’m going to present some short films here at Subtitles to Cinema. It can either be random discoveries, well-known classics or even some of my own stories. Today, I’d like to share the brilliant French short film J’Attendrai Le Suivant (2002), directed by Philippe Orreindy. It is a perfectly told story, and I would ruin it by writing too much about it beforehand. So, enjoy – and please do leave any thoughts in the comments.