Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is. - Oscar Wilde
Animation, Art, and Other Shiny Things
A poignant twist on the post-human story. Good animation and character design, great telling of a story.
A robot, far past expiration, roams a rural countryside waiting for his battery to die. After miles on an old service road, he discovers an old country house, boarded up and full of secrets
Directed and animated by Cailin Tamplin
Anyone who’s read this blog for a while knows I’m a big fan of Heavy Metal magazine and love animation that reminds me of the illustration and story-telling style of the mag.
And if there has ever been a television show that ticks all of my boxes, Love, Death, and Robots is it. Different stories throughout the series, different animation styles, all steeped in heavy science fiction. The episodes themselves span the gamut in story – from love to war, and animation style – from simple cartoonish to hyper-realistic.
When I first came across the series I watched three of them before I could stop myself. It took great self-control to spread the balance of the season over the next week and a half. At 10 to 18 minutes each, it’s far too easy to munch right through the whole season in one sitting.
This show has several strengths, not the least of which is that each episode is animated by different teams from around the world giving each short film a ‘fresh’ feeling all the way through the series.
In addition, most episodes are based on stories by some of the premier sci-fi authors of our time, including John Scalzi (Old Man’s War series), Peter F Hamilton (The Commonwealth Saga), Alastair Reynolds (Revelation Space), Ken Lui (The Dandelion Dynasty), Joe Lansdale (many books, movies, tv shows, including Batman and Bubba Ho-Tep), Marko Kloos (Frontlines series), Michael Swanwick (various science fiction short stories and non-fiction) and more! I have most of these folks’ books in one form or another.
Most of the script adaptations were done by Philip Gelatt. He’s written or directed several movies such as the Europa Report and The Bleeding House.
I think the iconography deserves a particular mention. I saw early on how the icons in the opener describes the title; a heart (love), an ‘X’ (death), and a square-headed face (robots). What took me a few episodes to realize is the the icons right before the episode’s title gives an idea of the theme of that episode. For instance, the episode Good Hunting’s icons are a heart (love), a gear (robot/machine), and a fox (uh, a fox) which are alluded to as the film progresses.
I can’t imagine Netflix not putting together a second season, (though stranger things have happened) but the wait, while it may not kill me, will at least cause me great distress.
This is a story of caring service and the dawning understanding of its end. Surrounded by a bleak landscape of spiritless routine, curiosity sparks hope.
Film by William Wall.
In a world of robots where the mobility of energy is power, two tethered locomotive robots become friends and decide it is time to risk everything to be free.
A Pixar SparkShort by Brian Larsen.
We got a couple inches of snow here in Seattle since yesterday and, with the preponderance of hills and a tendency to ice up, just getting to work was a slogging chore. While the library won’t be getting many of it’s usual type of patrons today, as a “warming station” – a city-approved spot to get out of the cold – we will get many of our homeless and insecurely housed neighbors stopping in. And that’s ok with me, because that’s how we roll (as they say) here at the library.
So, for those folks, and everyone else feeling the bite of winter’s chill, stay safe, stay warm, and watch through this little window into some heat.
A lonely service robot that is unable to leave his post tends to his duties as he wonders why no one comes in for service any more.
A wonderfully atmospheric short by Brian Watson.
A robotic hand sets out on a journey to find itself or at least as many pieces as possible.
More at Filmsfink.com
A Cute Robot arrives on the North Pole to collect earthly things only to find a hungry polar bear…