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Monsieur Cok

In times of war, a ruthless yet childish factory owner decides to replace all his workers with robots. A riot ensues.

2009 | 5 - 10 | Animation | France | Robot | Sci-Fi

Monsieur Cok is the owner of a large bomb factory. In times of war,  hedecides to increase production to the max, replacing his workers with robots. The profits skyrocket, and so does the reputation of the grotesque little man. Politicians, the general public and the press all seem to adore this brilliant entrepreneur, but among the workers who have lost their jobs there’s lots of discontent, which will eventually lead to a big riot. The final battle between the workers and the factory guards will reveal Mr. Cok’s terrible secret.

Split between his power and money hunger and a deep infantilism, Monsieur Cok reminds of some great figures of cinema history, such as Charles Foster Kane, eternally bound to his Rosebud.  Mr. Cok, however, is far more monstrous, and his immaturity is a key element of this grotesque story. Capable of doing horrible actions with a stupid smile on his face, totally insane and oblivious to the violence he perpetrates every day, he’s like a child playing war, but his actions are real. Men die and lose their jobs under his eyes, but he is too busy watching cartoons and eating candy.

This story is a clear satire of modernity, in which ruthless capitalists enrich themselves and gain more and more power while the public applauds them, ignoring their negative actions, blinded by the dream of power. It’s not a coincidence that the design of the protagonist  clearly recalls Humpty Dumpty, the   popular culture character that Lewis Carroll featured in Through the Looking Glass. Just like Humpty Dumpty is able to do whatever he wants with words, Monsieur Cok is free to manipulate people and reality.

The short film was created using stop-motion and 2D and 3D animations. The overall style and character designs are close to the Steampunk aesthetic, which often looks redundant and rather tacky, but here it’s used in its ideal dimension: the war industry, the half man – half robot guards, the bombs, the diegetic world built by the director is solid and believable, with some references to the style of Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Terry Gilliam.

Franck Dion, he director of the short,  has worked as an actor, set designer and illustrator. In 2006 he founded Papy3D, the company that, among other films, also produced Monsieur Cok, which was presented at Sundance 2009, and has won many awards in the international film festival circuit.

Flavia Ferrucci

Flavia Ferrucci

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