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Astigmatismo (2013)

December 22, 2013 0 animation

Created by Nicolai Troshinsky
Music by Shogun Kunitoki
Sound design by Pierre Sauze
Character design by Gina Thorstensen
Background design by Cecilia Ramieri

Astigmatismo by Spanish filmmaker Nicolai Troshinsky is a stunning short film about – you got it – astigmatism. Beginning with the moment a boy’s glasses are taken from him as a prank, we are plunged into his world with the aid of some very innovative animation techniques. Only able to focus on very specific parts of his surroundings at any one time, his perception is reduced to localised glimpses of what’s happening around him, with everything else a blur.

The resulting effect is one of dislocation. Seen through the boy’s astigmatic eyes, the world becomes a series of connected and not so connected vignettes, some as surreal as if dreamed up by Dali or Bosch. The genius of this film is that it manages to convey the beauty in this confusion – the reduced power of perception makes the world harder to piece together logically. But then, the world can often be like this even for those of us with 20/20 vision – confusing, weird, wonderful and random.

The animated world of Astigmatismo was created using painted glass and cut-out marionettes, and filmed on five planes, using computer-controlled lens focus in order to switch focus, like the human eye, near instantly between different points. Astigmatismo has screened at scores of film festivals including Sundance and won several prizes including the Animatou Special Animation prize. A short documentary about the making of Astigmatismo can been seen here.

El Empleo – The Employment (2011)

December 5, 2013 0 animation

Directed by Santiago ‘Bou’ Grasso
Written by Patricio Plaza
Animated by Santiago Grasso and Patricio Plaza
Production company: Opusbou

El Empleo is a wonderfully crafted, imaginative short about (in a nutshell) work. The film is somewhat surrealist, showing humans replacing everyday household items – and even machines, cars, elevator doors. The world of El Empleo presents us with a sort of reversal of the modern world, in which duties and functions performed by humans are increasingly automated and performed by machines. Highly allegorical, El Empleo has a great twist which will resonate with everyone familiar with the routines, hierarchies and often, existential emptiness of the world of routine servitude. Keep watching past the credits!

Cortometraje de animación / animated short film
Ganador de 103 premios internacionales / Winner of 103 International Awards.