A witty satire on the art world and the anxieties of the creative process masterfully directed by stop-motion animation genius Mikey Please.
In the beginning it was nothing. And then everything appeared. Explosions of light and matter, forms that combine and divide, primordial life forms begin to appear, and then, finally, a human figure… which, however, loses its head and arms. This sudden ‘production mistake’ abruptly halts the sumptuous creation that was happening before our eyes.
There is a very specific reason for that, as what appeared to be a reconstruction of the birth of the universe, is now turning into a meta-commentary about artistic production.
Marilyn is not a mythological divinity who’s creating the cosmos, she’s actually a girl with a passion for sculpture, whose creative process seems to have reached a dead end.
An obsessive perfectionist like any artist, our protagonist is very different from the generous and creative God we’ve seen earlier. She’s indeed a really anxious and frustrated sculptor, suffocated by the weight of her own expectations – and those of the outside world.
The autobiographical nature of this short is pretty evident. Mikey Please is considered one of the geniuses of contemporary stop-motion, and his previous short, The Eagleman Stag (which we featured a while ago) has been universally acclaimed as a masterpiece. Making a new film under the weight of success is not easy, but Please lived up to the expectations, and he resolved this impasse with a strong dose of irony. As Marilyn turns her weakness in a sublime conceptual performance (a very satirical nod to the world of contemporary art), so the director has exorcised his anxiety with a metafilmic and ironic narrative about …. artistic anxiety.
Please seems to have further developed his incredible technical skills. As usual, everything we see is created in-camera, there are no added effects. The director continues to work with a special foam used to build sets and characters, then animated by hand with a stop-motion technique so refined that it is hard to believe that it is not digital animation we’re looking at. The real new element here are the light effects, achieved by combining long exposures and light-painting.
The film as headlined the festival circuit last year, appeared in the selections of many important festivals like SXSW and Sundance, and has been online for a few weeks. With Marilyn Myller, Please and his partner Dan Ojari have launched their new animation studio Parabella.
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