My plan to take a break from Oscar nominated films for the day didn’t quite pan out today. In fact it’s somewhat miraculous that I’m getting this post up today at all, and it’s arguable that what I did manage to make it through doesn’t really count. Most of my day today has been consumed by crippling anxiety that’s kept me more or less bedridden all day. So, while I only managed to stumble my way through a pair of animated shorts, I’m going to be considerate with myself and admit that I did the best I could all things considered.
Genius Loci (2020, Dir. Adrien Merigeau)
This was an apt viewing today given my current state of mind as Genius Loci uses it’s medium to capture what it feels like to exist in the world with debilitating anxiety. No matter how familiar a location may be, when suffering from serious mental health issues, everything can seem foreign and foreboding. The cubism art style exhibited throughout the film enhances the feeling of terror from having so little control over reality. The film perfectly captures the way an unhealthy brain distorts life. The film may be short on narrative scope, but in visuals and motif is speaks volumes.
Yes-People (2020, Dir. Gísli Darri Halldórsson)
If the choice in art movement contained hidden depths for Genius Loci, Yes-People’s overly rounded CGI was a much more simplistic choice. The short is extremely simplistic (containing only Icelandic words for yes and no as dialogue), and the low detail large-shaped art style works with the simple premise. Simplistic in style doesn’t mean there’s nothing of substance present though. Through little peeks in people’s everyday lives, Yes-People leaves the word “yes” meaningless as it applies to both happy and depressed moments. While I personally lean more towards the former short, Yes-People is a solid blend of comedy and melancholy with the appropriate art for its message.