Dark Colours and Bright Messages By Liudmila Diakova

in 45th Cracow International Short Film Festival

by Liudmila Diakova

Besides the good organisation and the great hospitality of the festival crew I was really impressed by the good selection of animated films included in the international competition of the 45th Cracow Film Festival. From the 38 titles in competition, 20 were animated, realised with different techniques and personal styles – from the traditional line-drawing of the caricature to the rich oil paining touches and the 3D computer experiments.

In general the reflections and the authors’ messages were focused on the apocalypse and death but the sense of humour, the vital artistic drawings, and at times even the final optimistic ending created a positive temper and creative impulse.

In Guard Dog the author makes fun of the excessive efforts of a dog trying to protect his master but finally by excess of zeal causing his own death. Morir de Amor – Silver Dragon For Best Animated Film – with its paradoxical sense of humour, attractive music score and simple but very artistic graphic style is a bright essay dedicated to the traps and the seeming and the real of ‘love’ and the dying from love. The impression created by Ryan was depressing. The film is homage to the great Canadian animator Ryan Larkin, director of memorable films in the world history of animation who ended up homeless and begging in the streets of Montreal. Not being a follower of the 3D animation style I have to acknowledge the director’s artistry in creating a portrait with powerful impact, following the doom and crash of a great artist.

The Final Solution was a philosophical essay about human existence and its sense since the creation of the world to the final moments of death. It is the last wing of the trilogy Intolerance , where the characters leave Earth in search of better conditions for life on an unknown planet. Their long trip is simply an allegory for mans journey to the others and the graphic expressiveness accentuates in addition to this suggestion.

Works is a poetic and graphic experiment realized with 3D computer animation techniques and shows a possible dark apocalypse in the contemporary urban scenery but also offers an alternative. Making reconstruction and turning back to the normal everyday life we could dedicate ourselves to creation by evaluating and protecting the things we already have.

Ceremonia is the most optimistic of the cited films. With its stylised drawings and concise language the director follows the path from life to death and focuses not on the dark inevitable end but emphasises on a cheerful feeling that promises the new coming life.

I could definitely say that the dark colours in the majority of the presented films are rather a formal ascertainment. The essence of the authors’ message is in fact life-asserting and positive.