A young girl goes off her medication and leaves a bleak metropolis to immerse herself in a vibrant oceanic cove.

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Caldera sees a young woman living with mental illness of some sort in a grey society which requires her to take medication to keep in the world of the normal people. When she decides to quite her medicine she heads out to a beautiful ocean lagoon of her own making and intense beauty, but all the time the glowering reality of the city is menacing her and approaching her. The woman knows she can really neither stay totally lost in this beautiful world she has created, nor cope with the crippling restrictions of the medication. Written by bob the moo

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11 March 2012 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

The content is difficult but the vision, art and creativity is awe-inspiring
3 April 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Caldera sees a young woman living with mental illness of some sort in a grey society which requires her to take medication to keep in the world of the normal people. When she decides to quite her medicine she heads out to a beautiful ocean lagoon of her own making and intense beauty, but all the time the glowering reality of the city is menacing her and approaching her. The woman knows she can really neither stay totally lost in this beautiful world she has created, nor cope with the crippling restrictions of the medication.

Although the meaning of the short was reasonably clear by virtue of the woman clearly going off her meds at the start, it did help my understanding afterwards to read about how director Viera was inspired to make this film due to his father's schizoaffective disorder, which would see him disappear into delusions but then also have to be dragged back to a much more sedated reality by his required medication. To look after someone in this condition must be hugely challenging and accordingly in Caldera, Viera offers no answers but rather just presents the woman' battle between the two worlds. As a narrative it is difficult and ultimately will probably work best if you understand where Viera is coming from and what he has to deal with. I am foruntate enough not to be able to relate and as a result I found that some of the film didn't move me quite as much – specifically as the film went on and went away from the more obvious stages of the conflict. It still worked enough for me to understand enough to go with it though.

The real selling point though is that, while presenting this conflict, the film does so in a way that is creative and stunning – I really wish that I could even make such images appear in my head when I close my eyes, far less be able to create them as animation. The stages of the film are well done whether it be the grey of medicated life, the tranquillity and endless beauty of the delusion or the oppressive red metropolis of the real. The various worlds are stunning and, most importantly, as beautiful as they are they never overwhelm the fact that the short is actually about something. Too often I watch a short where the effects or animation are the whole deal and it works as a show reel for the director but doesn't do much for the casual viewer – this is most definitely not the case here.

It is difficult and it is very much a personal film but it is one that delivers with great vision and animation.


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