Uses a twisted, beautiful and highly original visual aesthetic to look at the ways individuals evolve, adapt and break.




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Cast overview:
Dan Rutherford (voice)
Mary Rutherford (voice)
Angela (voice)
Robert McCarrol ...
Francis (voice)


A group therapy session for couples begins. The therapist asks Dan, a small, shrunken man, to comment. Dan is interrupted by Mary, his huge wife, who complains about Dan and scolds him. Her harangue follows them home. He reaches over to touch her hand; he calls her his songbird. She melts - or at least the air leaves her. Six months later, Dan returns to the group alone; he's looking well. Lights shine from him. He extends a kindness to Angela. What is Dan's story? Written by <>

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Animation | Short



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Release Date:

25 April 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Geschenk  »

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User Reviews

on the edge
25 November 2009 | by (Porto, Portugal) – See all my reviews

It takes breathing, it takes reflection, to assume and finally understand that a film as this is a part of you. You see, short films that are as effective and powerful as this one are necessarily hard punches in the stomach. And indeed this is a powerful film. So in this case, it took me 10 days, during which i watched very few movies, to see which parts of me were shaken by the film. And indeed, i had 10 uneasy challenging days.

I didn't know the filmmaker, this is my first experience with his work. I'll want to see what he did before. This film does something that i hadn't seen done this way before. Now that i saw it, it seems incomprehensible how it hadn't been tried before. This is a kind of Philip Dick meets Gondry meets Jonze, both of which share the fact of having worked with Kaufman. Animation, in the sensitive way Landreth works, seems an incredibly interesting medium to work with these themes, basically voyages between vessels of inconscience. A constant instability that won't allow us to know where we stand, which level of consciousness are we visiting. The whole film is a no man land, an uncharted territory to obscure parts of self.

Every emotion is perfectly controlled, the construction is tight and perfectly balanced, and played around poles of madness, depression, love, frustration. Life.

The visual accomplishment is huge. The camera is grounded on our real world, but the images, though springing from this same world, were visualized elsewhere, in the tiny space between being awaken, and deeply sleeping. I'll want to see this film again.

My opinion: 4/5

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