A sweet old lady is living alone in her farm, waiting for the arrival of death to meet her beloved husband again. One night, while sleeping, her life fades out and she is invited to cross ... See full summary »
An explorer visits what appears to be the ruins of a gothic cathedral. There seem to be some strange statues, though, whose faces follow him as he makes his way to the end; the sun comes out, and he stops at the edge of a cliff.
Set in a world of iron dirigibles and steam powered computers, this gothic horror mystery tells the story of Jasper Morello, a disgraced aerial navigator who flees his plague-ridden home on a desperate voyage to redeem himself.
In the Russian countryside, a family lives next to a railroad track. A boy remembers when he and his parents had a cow, living off its milk and using it as a beast of burden. The cow has a ... See full summary »
I was planning on watching the movie 9 recently until someone pointed out it was an expanded version of a short film that I'd not seen, which made me want to watch the short film in the extras and then leave it a while before watching the more recent version. I probably made the right call on that since the original was made on a much more limited budget to say the least and is much simpler and smaller so seeing it after a full version may have worked against it. Anyway, what I found was a short film that does what a short film is meant to do engage and deliver quickly.
The plot is not really explained or at least the background to the world and characters anyways. Instead we are thrown into the middle of it as one ragdoll character has its soul captured by some sort of mechanical creature; this leaves doll #9 to either survive it, kill it or die trying. The short is as simple as that and, in the absence of detail and plot to engage, it is all about atmosphere and feeling. These are almost harder than the visual aspect to create but Acker gets it right, producing a very dark feeling film that engages because of its Gothic feel and dark air. Visually the film works very well even if the limited resources do show. The animation is smooth, the creatures have character and presences with only the slightest touch and the wider world is interesting.
Overall this was an enjoyable and dark short film that worked off atmosphere and visual creativity. I will be interested to see if an expansion and additions of characters, voices etc make it a better experience or if it dilutes the simple short too much across a longer running time.
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