The second in our series of short articles recommending short animations available on youtube is not actually online on Saturday, but as true fans of animation I’m sure you can all use your imaginations. Today’s short is The Master, directed by Christopher Kezelos, which can be found online below.
The Maker is only five minutes long, and tells the story of a strange rabbit shaped creature that looks like a cross between Frank from Donnie Darko and that creepy soft toy you had as a child that you never actually played with. It’s simultaneously ugly and appealing. The only moving features on the rabbit-doll’s face are his eyes, which only blink occasionally. Yet there is something strangely emotive about the movements of this creature-creator, and the way his gaze shifts from the ominous hourglass to his workbench somehow evokes feeling behind the ceramics and glass of the model face. He begins work on making something – what it is emerges quite quickly but I won’t ruin the story for you here.
The production is superb. The set is confined to one room – the maker’s workshop – which is detailed with lots of strange implements. Coloured bottles line mantlepieces, and the desk is littered with various tools. Yet these are not realistic details, as the set juts out at angles, establishing a tone somewhere between surrealism and expressionism. It feels authentic yet also entirely abstract, meaning that the film is often very unnerving. The climax of the story, that plays out to a wonderful score by Paul Halley, suggests the cyclical nature of creativity and expression, and the involvement of a creator in his work. It rings with a melancholic note that perfects the short, and turns something that is initially intriguing and unsettling into a film that is quite unforgettable.