We begin with Death, as most things do.
The last act of the man is to create something simple, something that few would take notice of. He’s spent maybe countless hours creating little animals and designs out of paper. Origami. It’s a peaceful artform. In order to create something simple and pleasant, you must go through a complex process of folding.
I was taught how to make a crane out of paper once upon a time, and that’s where the photo for this post comes from. The first one I made was horrifyingly bad, but the next one came out much better. The next five better still, but it’s been too long and I don’t remember anymore. Like Spanish and French and German, years of disuse has caused them to evaporate from my brain.
Anyrate, back to the film at hand.
It begins with Death. So much begins this way, and it ties this final act of creation to the end of life. Death and creation go hand in hand, or at least they always have to me. And in that dying, the creation takes life and investigates its creator, now dying on the floor beside where it found existence.
And it stays with him, like a pet. It looks at the life he led through photographs and it remains by his side in Death until youths come to take it away. And they take it away into the rain and there it begins a journey for a new life. The water takes it away and it begins to see the larger world and also serve its function as a sailboat. If art is a mirror or creation, then this piece of art literally takes on a life of its own and does exactly what a sailboat is designed for.
And then the storm. And then the washing away.
And perhaps its a Death, in a way. The sailboat of paper no longer is what it was, but it finds its way to shore, to another old man. He takes it to his lighthouse where he collects hundreds of origamied creations.
But it’s less of a graveyard for art, and more of a museum, where the little sailboat gets new life. Now to be admired and loved as part of a collection of other similar creatures.
And that’s that. A simple film about a simple journey that is more or less about life and who and what we are. I’m not personally a fan of the animation style, but I think it does exactly what it needs to.
It’s a strange kind of animation. It’s not going for beauty or aesthetic appeal It’s just there, in its own idiosyncratic way.
I always prefer the beautiful. It’s shaped my whole life. I’m drawn to it and I tend to avoid things with ugly aesthetics, and this is something I would normally shy away from, but I think it’s important in its own way.
You don’t need to tell a beautiful story in a beautiful way. You can create beauty out of rags or out of disfigured images. And I think that’s what David Pavon does here with Origami. For me, I’d prefer this to have crisp and clear animation, both detailed and classical, but Pavon is just telling us a simple story, so why not use a simple style?
Also, this film is getting a lot of awesome attention. A list of selections:
2014 Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival (San Diego – USA)
51st Gijon International Film Festival (Gijon – Spain)
29th Cartoon Club Festival Internazionale del Cinema D’Animazione e Del Fumetto (Rimini – Italy)
28th Mar del Plata International Film Fest (Mar del Plata – Argentina)
13th International Student Film Festival Písek 2013 (Pisek – Czech Republic)
XX FIJR International Short Film Fest Granada (Granada – Spain) – WINNER BEST SHORT FILM
3th Edition Mia Animation Conference & Festival (Miami – USA)
BAF 2013 – Bradford Animation Festival (Bardford – United Kingdom)
SCHLINGEL – the 18th International Film Festival for Children and Young Audience (Chemnitz – Germany)
10th European Animated Festival BALKANIMA 2013 (Belgrade – Serbia)
17 Festivale International Du Film Pour Enfants Du Montreal (Montreal – Canada)
PISAF 2013 – The 15th Puchon International Student Animation Festival (Puchon – South Korea)
15th Edition Animated Exeter (Exeter – UK)
MONSTRA – 13rd Lisbon Animated Film Festival (Lisbon – Portugal)
61th Belgrade Documentary and Short Film Festival (Belgrade – Serbia)
54º Festival Internacional de Cartagena de Indias (Cartagena de Indias – Colombia)
32nd Festival International de Cinema Ciné-Jeune de L’Aisne (Saint Quentin – France)
Future Film Festival 2014 (Bologna – Italy)
54th International Film Festival for Children and Youth, Zlin Film Festival (Zlin – Czech Republic)
A big accomplishment there, I think. It may seem like all films get screenings, but that’s simply not true. To have your film shown all over the world is really a big deal. I think of my own novels and stories and how those reach so few people in america, let alone the world at large.
It’s very very cool, and I think it makes this deserving of attention for us, here, on this column.
Because what is it about this film that people connect to? Why do they love it? Why do they want to see it?
This week I don’t feel like giving answers. I think it’s better for you to watch the film and put yourself inside it. Become that little origamied sailboat and traverse those waters together. Remember the Death of your creator. Watch the storm rise and take you away from the life you knew, albeit briefly. Find a new life past this ephemeral one of motion and action. Become something more than what you were designed to be.
Find the art in your own life. Make your life your art.
Live beautifully, even in a dirty and ugly world.