Thursday, February 20, 2014

Invention of Love (2010) / Luminaris

Many animated shorts deal with the subject of man's increasing mechanization: like did Berni's Doll. Some agitate you with stark, depressing realism; some others weave a story of romance in it, as does here Invention of Love; and some give it a happy varnish, a possibility of escape, like does Luminaris. However, each of such films provokes thought, even more so in an age where people are hooked to social networking and smartphones. It seems that people have forgotten their own selves: they are too much of automatons run by "society," no longer an abstract term.

Luminaris is a film with real (flesh-and-blood) characters and animated effects: so not out and out animation. And this turns out to be the strength of the film. The choice of Gustavo Cornillón as the Man is particularly excellent: he's got that old-fashioned Clark Gable-kind suave, roguish looks (or say like those of Jean Dujardin in The Artist), which goes along harmoniously with the music of the film: that pretends to project the story as an old-fashioned tale, even though the setting is futuristic. However, the film climaxes in the birth of a beautiful romance: which permits this old-fashioned-ness to permeate the film. After all, love itself is out of sync with the modern times, so the Man not only rebels through his stealing but also through his loving. It's a film that all those modern slaves called "officegoers" should see.

Andrey Shushkov's traditional animation short, Invention of Love, is a much longer, much more profound film: with allegories also to love and marriage, to the cycle of life and to our attempts to own what or whom we love, attempts that always fail. On the outside, though, the film again deals with obsession with technology: and its tragic consequences. The film begins beautifully, poetically, set to some lovely music and atmospherics reminding one of the English countryside to some extent; thereafter, the film moves to some scenes quite heavily inspired in admiration of Jasper Morello; and finally the disillusion, the heartbreak and the living ever after with the knowledge, the guilt of an irrevocable mistake.

As of the time of writing, Luminaris can be seen here and Invention of Love here.

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