Friday 19 June 2015

Perceiving the worlds of de Chirico


Watch it Again: Animation Mini-Series
This review was written by Jessica Schouela as a part of a mini-series project on animations played at previous Play Poland Film Festivals. Our aim is to continue to promote films that we have shown in the past in order to encourage excitement about future screenings. 

Perceiving the worlds of de Chirico

The animation titled “Lost Senses” by Marcin Wasilewski tells the tragic story of a man and a woman who ride or surf on pieces of concrete through the clouds to arrive at a city on a floating island. The film pays homage to the style of Italian Metaphysical painter Giorgio de Chirico, who greatly influenced the Surrealists. The woman, who holds a photograph of her and the man, reaches the island first. As the man, tightly gripping one red rose follows a few seconds later, he sees her at a distance. The wind takes hold of her photograph and she runs after it behind a building and out of sight. The man, determined to reach his beloved, begins to run towards her but as he does this, buildings begin to sprout from the ground like magic trees.

Although he had been somewhat clumsy on his concrete surfboard, nearly free falling off into layers of sky, his motivation seems to have provided him with superhero or parkour skills to climb buildings and soar from one to the other, karate kicking and chopping in mid-air. Running too quickly, he becomes distracted by a de Chirico style headless nude marble statue, revealing a single breast. The man runs into a stone block and his head crumbles like porcelain, breaking into pieces that separately house his eyes, nose, etc. By the time he and the woman cross paths at the end of the film, she too is without a head, resulting in each character going unnoticed to the other.

Wasilewski’s animation brilliantly appropriates de Chirico’s painted architectures for his mise-en-scรจnes. Each shot looks like it could have been extracted from one of the painter’s works, as Wasilewski frames the characters and objects as well as their shadows so that they communicate in a composition recognizable of de Chirico.

In addition, Wasilewski’s characters, despite their bodily configurations or materials, are entirely human and relatable. They are at once awkward and uncoordinated, decisive and resolute, fogged and frenzied. “Lost Senses” is a fantastically visually narrated tale of two individuals getting lost in their attempts to find one another. Not only does the film capture what it feels like to really look at a de Chirico painting, as if to lose one’s footing within his painted worlds, but it is also an honest description of how we all get lost everyday in our real lives.

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