Notes on Short Film

Lengthy diatribe on brief cinematic experience.

Das Rad (2003)

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This Academy-Award nominated Animated Short, translated from German as “The Rocks”, is directed by Chris Stenner. It is a short, sweet, humorous view of the transcience of humanity from the perspective of something much more permanent and slow-moving: rocks. Using an animation combination of stop-motion, puppetry, and CGI, this film is another example of exactly what I like short films to do: make a simple point, use a bit of humor, and tell the story in a way that is completely unique. Das Rad is certainly that. Stenner manages to give the rocks personalities, qualities fitting of their ancient, unmoving nature, to get us to see the phase that is humanity from a perspective other than our own. The film confirms its point with the inclusion of the deteriorating billboard proclaiming “Built to last.” Obviously, the filmmaker wants to make the case that humans do not live as if our society is built to last. The rocks mention the Ice Age, natural causes that have eliminated living things in the past and began nature anew. Ultimately, the only thing permanent about the world is nature; in the end, the only thing that remains are “das rad.”

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Written by Alisa Hathaway

March 29, 2011 at 7:38 pm

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