Dec 4, 2022
A fascinating early short from Yamamura, as this is far removed from his usual style, not being drawn or painted. It's kind of a mixed-media/collage style that appears to use clay, paper, and other objects for animation. The art direction is great, and it appears some of the backdrops are possibly fuzzy color photographs, when it's not always readily apparent as to whether or not these are painted backdrops or constructed models and facades. There's a lot of depth with the addition of foreground and background objects, with the figures usually occupying the middle. The fascinating thing about shorts like this is that handcrafted aesthetic
that leaves you wondering how a lot of it was made, and there is nothing else that looks entirely like it, though there are a number of experimental and surreal short films of a similar nature and general aesthetic.
It's difficult to get much of anything from the story, as it's largely visual in its storytelling and somewhat cryptic. There are a few inter-titles that set the scene with a rare burst of semi-coherence, in contradiction of the cave-man utterances of the puppets, which sound like Yoko Ono screeching over a Yoji Kuri animation. The reference of a character named "K" brings to mind Kafka, unsurprisingly, as Yamamura would adapt that author's Country Doctor story in later years.
The short is pretty much surrealist nonsense, absurdist, and a mood piece, and I doubt many people would derive much significance out of it, and it's also very short. Despite coming across as a tad eerie, it's even rather comical, with it's cutesy skeleton and the ridiculousness of the ending. It's for semi-completionists and admirers of Yamamura. Definitely not a good entry point for the director's work, but it's perfectly watchable and interesting for such a short run and has a nice aesthetic.
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