What's Christmas like when your parents are both modernism-loving architects?
Architects love Christmas. There’s a very simple reason for that: it is’s such a poorly designed holiday, and each year they have the opportunity to redesign it. You need to minimize the Christmas’ tree kitsch by choosing the smallest available and decorating it with real candles. Origamis made with fine Japanese paper will serve as decorations. As for gifts, you can’t just randomly put them under the tree – they should be arranged so as to recreate the structure of Habitat 67.
These were the holidays for Torill Kove, the director of this autobiographical short Christmas animation that was indeed inspired by her parents, both architects.
Redesigning Christmas is actually a sort of epilogue of “Me and my Moulton”, a short film that’s been shortlisted for the 2015 Oscars, after winning several awards on the festival circuit (here the trailer). The animation narrates the happy but sometimes awkward childhood of Kove and her sisters, destined to always be ‘different’ from their peers thanks to their parents, fanatics of modernist architecture in 1970s Norway. Sweet, ironic and original, Me and my Moulton is often referenced in this Christmas vignette.
The parent’s obsession to create bizarre artifacts and situations remains the same, as does the serene resignation of daughters, whether it is because they’re gonna have a designer bicycle (the Moulton) or strange Christmas decorations. And just like their friends who were astonished to see the strange decor of their home, even Santa Claus will ask: “But do you really live here?”.
Torill Kove is a Norwegian director and animator naturalized Canadian, who won the Academy Award in 2007 for best animated short with The Danish Poet.
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