Let's Not Watch it Again!

Netflix has some Sundance Film Festival animated shorts from 2007.

H.o.p. and I watched “Ask the Insects”, “Der Ostwind”, “In Passing” and “One Rat Short”.

“Ask the Insects” was the only one he asked to see again, the effects having sparked his interest, and then before I even began to replay it he had changed his mind and wanted to move on.

“One Rat Short” had cute animated rats but again H.o.p. was uninvolved by either animation or story.

“Der Ostwind”, about two fighter pilots facing off in WWI, also left him cold. Though I’d watched it first and told him it was OK (not bloody), he was too worried by the fighting, wondering if it was going to turn gross, to enjoy it. And, honestly, there wasn’t much to enjoy.

I’d not previewed “The Tragic Story of Nling” and as the others had been kid friendly we jumped in. But it began with a man saying things had gotten so bad he had eaten two friends and drunk the alcohol from their veins, which sent H.o.p. jumping up from my chair and running from the room. Perhaps I’ll return later to see if there’s anything to recommend it to adults.

All in all, we were unenthused by these selections.

While H.o.p. did some language arts, I did a search at Youtube for Sundance animation, hoping for better things. The result was the 2006 Sundance winner for Best Short Animation, “Fifty Percent Gray”. And H.o.p. will not be watching that film as the basic story concerns a dead warrior who, faced with a television for revelatory company in the afterlife, keeps blowing his brains out. The trace amount of philosophical content didn’t warrant the unnecessarily graphic violence, brains splurting out the back of the head and blood spraying everywhere. The resolution, intended to be dark comedy, was about as surprising and unimaginative as finally stubbing your toe on a protruding leg of a piano stand that you’d passed twenty times earlier and kept thinking that you’d better push the piano stand further out of the walkway but you didn’t and ouch.

We went on to better things, a couple of which I’ll post later.

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Juli Kearns

Juli Kearns is the author of Thunderbird and the Ball of Twine and Unending Wonders of a Subatomic World (or) In Search of the Great Penguin. She is also an artist/photographer, and the person behind the web alter of "Idyllopus Press".

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