In the aftermath of a terrible incident, a young couple has to deal with phantom pains.
A phantom limb is the sensation that an amputated or missing limb is still attached to the body and is moving appropriately, often accompanied by pain.
This psychological phenomenon was the starting point for Australian animator Alex Grigg in the making of this short. The director is a member of the ”Late Night Work Club”, a collective of independent animators, united together to produce non-commercial works. LNWC’ s first project was ‘Ghost Stories‘, an anthology of spooky and ghost-themed short films.
The ghost featured in Phantom Limb is not anthropomorphic. It’s the embodiment of the sense of guilt of a young man over the terrible accident that brought his girlfriend to lose an arm. This missing limb keeps on manifesting itself our protagonist’s days and dreams. It follows and threatens him, turns into goofy shapes, it even turns on lights and appliances – creating a proper “poltergeist” effect. This presence / absence seems to tear the couple away but it’ll end up being the only thing to keep them together.
Despite the macabre theme, the short never slips into morbid tones. On the contrary: the clean character design, bright colors, the minimalism of the scenes and the incredible use of music ( the girl being a pianist is fundamental , and the song she plays will become the leitmotif of the story) bring a tenderness and of intimacy that leave no room for fear or terror. It’s Grigg’s first short, who has opted for a narrative that relies entirely on the images, eliminating all dialogues – a choice that increases the emotional impact of the story.
The director releaseda detailed making of, from which we learn that the girl’s clothes were inspired by this Burberry collection, that the character design of the protagonist owes much to the children’s TV series Funnybones, and that the short was entirely animated on Photoshop .
Phantom Limb was in the official selection of Sundance 2014 and presented at the the International Animation Festival of Annecy 2014.comments powered by Disqus