New Frontier Shorts
Spaceships, Hypnotism, & Confusion: This year's New Frontier Shorts has it all
In comparison to the next two shorts, Voyagers was by far the most main-stream. While still experimenting heavily with the medium and storytelling techniques, Santiago Menghini’s short film has a clear subject. Making use of artifacts such as soundbites, photographs, and raw footage from the Voyager probes that were launched into deep space in the 1970s. The short inspired feelings of awe and wonder, as we are invited to consider the vast expanse of space and the words that we sent into its depths aboard the Voyager.
Hypnotizing. That’s the only world that can describe the experience of watching Abendland. It’s a simple, beautifully animated film that takes place after the era of man, in which our effects are still being felt on the earth. A tree at the edge of time, sways softly in the breeze while it and the land around it morphs and changes. The transitions are so subtle that I found myself forgetting what the scene originally looked like, questioning whether there were any changes at all. While the film seemed endless, not once was I in fear of falling asleep, although I did find myself imagining endings for the film, one of which involved the projector catching on fire. When asked about whether there were hidden images in the film or if the audience was just crazy, the creator simply stated, “crazy is just another word for imagination.”
Swimming in Your Skin Again
Swimming in Your Skin Again was an enigma. The film opened with a sequence of statements about what the film was not (it was not a social commentary, religious allegory, or political statement). After this energetic opening, the film relaxes into a rhythm with very little direction. The most intriguing part (aside from the opening statements) was the choreography. During the Q&A, the director did nothing to diffuse the confusion that his film elicited. He was asked about the symbolism in the colors, the meaning of the dialogue, and even the title but didn’t have an explanation for any of it. Ultimately, his uncertainty showed through in his film.