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Online Premiere: Black by Sara Taigher

A short film part of a wider cross-media project to brighten your soul during these days of forced quarantine

10 – 15 | 2018 | Animation | Italy | Sci-Fi

Rome, summer. One night, unexpectedly, a total blackout leaves the city without electricity. People feel paralyzed, their world is dipped in darkness. Matteo is a young electronic music producer big fan of Chemical Brothers and Daft Punk. He’s composing the songs of his new album. In a single moment, he loses all his work on his computer. Crushed by the lack of electricity and ensnared on his habits, Matteo finds an entirely different dimension of himself and everything around him thanks to the encounter with Greta, his neighbor from next door, who’s writing a novel inspired by this emergency.

“In the dark we can re-discover forgotten things” – that is the lesson that Black teaches us. The animated short film written, produced and directed by Sara Taigher premieres online right on the days when cases of Covid-19 continue to appear in Italy as around the world and lead to more deaths. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the whole situation, but it is more important to keep calm, don’t be afraid and don’t be panicking. “Black is a love story but also a call to feel ourselves and seize the moment: the main topics of the movie are music and energy as they continuously link together throughout the whole story. While they show us the importance of something that we normally take for granted: electricity,” Sara stated.

Un'immagine del corto Black

Taigher and her working group (Yassmin Yaghmai, Chiara Babuin, Daniele Di Blasio, and cartoonist Lorenzo Bartoli, to whom the film is dedicated) have chosen an old-fashioned crafting animation, different than that of the ones we are now accustomed: traditional 2D. Elegant and poetic, what is most amazing of Black is its ability to make the most out of the night-time colors. The result is realistic and gives a bright and magical atmosphere in its simplicity. The colors are bare like the situation of outer chaos in Rome and inner feelings of discomfort, and then they light up when the emotions of the characters get up enough nerve to start all over and learn to live again.

Black wants to drive the audience to be freer, to reflect on our everyday life, to embrace its most mysterious and interesting side away from the weights that prevent us from facing life’s sudden difficulties. Let’s change our habits to get something good out of it, and then the good stuff happens by itself. “Through the protagonist, very tight with computer use, viewers are hit hard by the absence of electricity. And they can understand how much we take it for granted on one side and on the other that there are things that go beyond the work, the computer, the social network, and these habits that sometimes make us slaves to ourselves,” the director explained in an interview with Vice.

We can get out the blackout, as the outbreak, more aware of our weaknesses in a new spirit of lightness and freshness, finally able to distinguish what’s important from what’s futile, as David Grossman wrote about the coronavirus pandemic in an open letter published on Haaretz.

Un'immagine del corto Black

Black was produced over three years by So What Pictures on a limited budget of 30000 euros and thanks to the Ministry of Heritage and Cultural Activities – Cinema Department and a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, which allowed the company to financially complete the production. Furthermore, the short is part of a wider cross-media project that blends together the film, a music album and a live electronic music show. The tracks are available on Soundcloud.

There are many important points to be considered in this very original product for the Italian animation independent scene. Besides, Sara Taigher works for a time as director and motion designer. Graduated in Graphic and Media Design at the London College of Communication, she directed the video clip for DJ Rupture & Matt Shadetek’s Solar Life Raft and founded with character designer Yassmin Yaghmai the project Robotina, with which she has directed the animated music video Farah – The Only Ones for LA-based independent record label Italians Do It Better.

So What and Black are a significant challenge: an animated project with freedom and adult maturity, which rests on exquisite craftsmanship and powerful imagination. This is a different approach on our present, especially needed since we’re alone and this enforced isolation keeps all of us separated from the ones we love.

Alessandro Zoppo

Alessandro Zoppo

Editor-in-Chief @ Good Short Films

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