London Short Film Festival: Creature Comforts
If you’ve been following the site over the last couple of days, you’ll have seen our coverage of the London Film Festival this year, from the lovely bunch here at JumpCut Online. Today, I’d like to share my picks from the Creature Comforts category this year.
Animals are the online superstars of our internet age, forever tagged, tweeted, Instagrammed for the pleasure of an unseen audience. Beyond the cute and cuddly viral cats and dog memes lurks a world not too dissimilar to ours – one of violence, subjugation, anxiety and fantasy. Featuring octoped cinematographers, hallucinating whales and one coyote’s Jodorowskian quest for bloody revenge, this programme is a trippy, fantastical tribute to the existential relationship between man and beast.
No revenge without bloodshed.
“A coyote loses his wife and children to a wolf attack, as he tries to process the experience, evil takes more and more space.”
Coming from Switzerland based director Lorenz Wunderle, Coyote is descent into a vibrantly painted tale of dread. In its swift 9 minute runtime, Wunderle and co not only show their fantastic animation talent off but blow the lid off your sense of direction. Playing as a revenge story that wouldn’t feel out of place in Mad Max or last year’s Mandy, Coyote is more than just bloodshed and tears. This is a coruscating journey through wonderous sci-fi visuals, ripped straight from the pages of Alfred Bester.
Wunderie doesn’t let you settle in either. Cute and cuddly is thrown away within seconds and instead, you’re hit with a barrage of visceral violence. The wild won’t wait for anyone. While the plot itself may be familiar, I won’t spoil it because it’s execution is what really makes this a special feat.
Trading in dialogue for the bare knuckles of raw grief and evil, there is a real sense of vulnerability, despite the at times darkly comical tone. It’s ultimately a deeply human story that is dealing with any form of redemption or solace.
What’s done is done. Either move with the times or die trying to bring them back.
Coyote is a superb offering at this year’s London Film Festival and I hope you seek it out as soon as possible.
(FOOL TIME) JOB
Merciless and Routine: Real Life.
“Pedro has found a job, a rare occurrence in this period of crisis and although It’s true that the job is rather strange, the important thing is to have a job…isn’t it?”
Set against a dreary and tactile visual palette, (FOOL TIME) JOB harbours itself in the opposite spectrum of survival that Coyote explored. Instead, Gilles Cuvelier takes us into a world of false security and an arguably worse promise: false hope. This is an environment of routine and dead ends. The scatters of hope are like crumbs at the bottom of the bread bin.
I found this to be a poignant and unsettling gaze into the premise of adulthood. The trials and tribulations of setting the foundations for the future. The rise through ladders of progression might be in distance, but are they truly satisfying? That decision can make or break someone.
As the final frame tracks through a sorrowful conclusion, if it wasn’t clear already, (FOOL TIME) JOB was never going to hold anyone’s hand in comfort. If you’re looking to wet your beak with some fantastic animated efforts, that are clearly labours of love, then look no further than these picks from the Creature Comforts category this year.
Also screening today in the collection are:
Animal Cinema: “a film composed of fragments of videos of animals operating cameras and have been reorganized in Animal Cinema as a constant unfolding of non-human modes of being.”
Blau: “An old folk belief says that a whale dreams for the entire duration of its life, in Blau, life and myth of the great mammal are woven together into a story of fantastic realism.”
Milk: “A young employee of a rural dairy farm is experiencing anxiety regarding her unexpected pregnancy.”
Those Progressive Meats: “A twenty-five-year-old self-styled hermit who got it into his head that he has achieved enlightenment tries to neutralize people’s desire.”
Winners Bitch: “Virginia Hampton was an all breed American Kennel Club judge and was instrumental in getting the Akita recognized, specialized in working dogs, and was a doting mother to 3 sons, however two of those things are lies, depending on who you ask.”
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