©︎ Vivement Lundi ! – 2020

24th Animation Division New Face Award

À la mer poussière

Animated short film

Héloïse FERLAY[France]

Outline

A stop-motion animation depicting an unstable relationship among a sister, a younger brother, and their mother using puppets made of felt. Inside a modest house in a desolate desert, a sister is threatening to cut off her brother’s big ear. The brother cries for the mother, but she drives away in a car. On another day, when the children start fighting again, the mother tries to leave without scolding them, but the children get into the car not to be left behind. The three continue on the road in silence, but once the children start arguing about their father, the mother loses her head, causing an accident. The work depicts a thrilling story that skillfully uses the texture of the material to express emotions, as shown, for example, in the mother’s complex facial expression, which is a mixture of love, anxiety, and anger, conveyed by the fluff of felt.

Reason

A household left to its own devices in the middle of nowhere. The children are wide-eyed; their mother’s, lifeless. The three characters’ hazy existence is emphasized by the texture of their felt construction. The mother’s physical unraveling seems to symbolize her giving in to despair and negligence despite her desperate attempts to cohere, to exist as herself. The family’s wading into the sea and smearing mud on each other conveys their growing proximity and the mother’s explosive catharsis. The writer’s youth is apparent in numerous scenes where narrative becomes irrelevant and the moment’s high emotionality takes center stage. Creating images from adjectives is no small feat. (SATO Tatsuo)