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Negative Space | Oscar Nominated Stop-Motion Animation | Short of the Week

by: Short of the Week     Published on: 16 July 2019

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Negative Space is an Oscar-nominated short film animation that depicts a father-and-son relationship through the art of packing a suitcase.SUBMIT A FILM: https://www.shortoftheweek.com/submit/FULL REVIEW: https://www.shortoftheweek.com/2019/07/16/negative-space/Negative SpaceA Film by Tiny Inventions (Ru Kuwahata & Max Porter)http://www.tinyinventions.com"Right at the outset, let me lay my cards on the table—this is a nearly perfect short. I qualify that statement with the “nearly”, only because I do not believe that art is a competition towards a platonic ideal. Though our site has taken on the challenge of serving as an arbitrator in questions of artistic and entertainment value, I still tend towards relativism in these matters. Taste is personal, and besides, perfection is often incompatible with innovation and risk-taking. Some of my favorite short films are decidedly imperfect and all the more enjoyable to me because of it. But back to the point—Negative Space is practically perfect. Like so many shorts I admire, the film incorporates multitudes of seemingly contradictory qualities: at a mere 5 minutes, there is really no wasted space, and yet it is exceedingly spare. Based off a celebrated Ron Koertge poem that clocks in at only 150 words, it allows for moments of subtlety and contemplation that are so necessary in visual storytelling—those perfectly blocked shots, held for an extra moment, that drive home the rich emotional interiority of its characters. It’s simultaneously one of the most humanistic films of recent memory, but it also stars no humans. Its stop-motion animation is expressive, detailed and grounded, and yet it has no compunction about taking off on flights of fancy, segueing via delightful transitions into fantastical asides that play with scale and setting. And, most remarkably, none of these elements are simply stylistic choices, excuses for technical bravado, or kludgy compromises to the process of adaptation. They are all deep reflections of the film’s core themes, representing and enriching them. Adapting work from another medium is rare for shorts, but rarer still, in any medium, is an adaptation that exceeds the original. Negative Space fills in the subtext of Koertge’s poem, but doesn’t bludgeon it, and the insights and personal experiences the film’s creators bring to the source material prove additive rather than incongruent, elevating the work." - S/W Curator, Jason SondhiCREDITSDirector / Writer: Max Porter & Ru KuwahataProduction: Nidia Santiago & Edwina LiardCo-production: Jean-Louis PadisOriginal poem: Ron KoertgeSet Decoration: Ru Kuwahata, Marion Lacourt, Victoria Tanto, Max PorterPuppets: Ru Kuwahata, Satoru Yoshida, Tomas Gebcyznski, Max PorterAnimation lead: Sylvain DerosneAdditional animation: Eric Montchaud, Ru KuwahataCinematography lead: Nadine BussAdditional cinematography: Simon Gesrel, Max PorterProduction / Post-production management: Nidia Santiago & Edwina LiardProduction Assistants: Philippe Baranzini, Walid Païenda, Fred Borja, Lucile Pellerin, Maxime Lebalanc, Juluien Renrad, Willy FairPost-Production: Max Porter, Sami Guellai, Pierre Morin, Ru KuwahataEditing: Max PorterMusic & Sound Design:Bram Meindersma **posée et enregistrée avec le soutien de la SACEM en association avec CiclicVoice:Albert BirneyVoice Recording: Keviln Hill, CASColor Grade:Thibaut PétillonSound Mix: Matthieu Langlet—Studio Providers—Voice recording facility: Studio UnknownDecoration: Ciclic AnimationPuppets: Moving PuppetsAnimation: Ikki Inc., Manuel Cam Studio, Tiny InventionsPost production: Ciclic Animation, Ikki Inc.Color correction: Royal PostSound mix: EclairTypography: YouWorkForThemInsurance: Gras SavoyeBank: CICAccountant: Lebrun AudiovisualDistribution: Miyu DistributionPublicist: Fumi Kitahara—Funding—Avec la participation du Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée – Contribution FinancièreAvec la participation d’Arte France – Unité de Programmes CinémaAvec le soutien de la Mairie de Paris en partenariat avec le CNCAvec le soutien du CNC (Nouvelles Technologies en Production)Avec le soutien de la Procirep et de l’AngoaPuffin Foundation Ltd.Marcella Brenner Grants for Faculty Research Development from Maryland Institute College of ArtLa Maison des scénaristesNegative Space has been supported in production by Ciclic-Région Centre Val de Loire, in association with the CNC. It has benefited of the support for original music creation by the SACEM in association with Ciclic. It has been hosted in Vendôme (France) from June 2nd to September 2nd, 2016, and from December 1st to January 31st, 2017. Ciclic is a public institution for cultural cooperation created by the Centre-Val de Loire Region and the French State. www.ciclic.fr.Year: 2017Country: FRANCE© Ikki Films / MANUEL CAM Studio / Ikki Inc.This film is reproduced on this channel with the permission of the rights-holders.