While I enjoy stop-motion animation, I am not what one would call a fan. Nonetheless, this short (less than 9 minutes, all told) has a strangely, eerily compelling script that wormed its way not only into my brain, and into the lexicon of myself and my friends. Many is the time when we have encountered mindless, blinkered bureaucracy and muttered to each other "The way is blocked" or "Couldn't we just go around?"
There is is the card game of Shaft of Light, simple but effective, just like the animated short. Tominson studied at the CalArts center for experimental animation, and this work is a product of that time. You can find both online, just employ your favorite search engine.
The allegory of Shaft of Light is clear, as is its message of hierarchical privilege and punishment. The solution--common sense, not blind adherence to authority--is as clear as the message: don't rock the boat.
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