Operating in a perfect, seamless loop that can be repeated on itself endlessly, 9-minute animated short Opera took three years of blood, sweat, and animated tears to reach our screens. Critically acclaimed Korean animator Erick Oh, one of the minds and artists behind such beloved films as Pixar’s Inside Out, selected an extraordinary team of animators to help bring this remarkable creation to fruition.
Opera is a beautifully intricate dance of day and night, hundreds of little nameless and faceless creatures and characters, all cogs in a stunning machine set to music and sound by Andrew Vernon. Somewhere between a Renaissance fresco and a Rube Goldberg machine come to life, Opera begs to be voraciously devoured by the eyes over and over again, like the magnificent feast it is. It has elements of animated greats before it–I was particularly reminded of certain segments of Fantasia–it is also something completely new and unique. Magical and breathtaking, like a living breathing zoetrope, this is what animation was created for.
There is something sacred and arcane in the threads–or in this case, the paint and pixels–of Opera. Something about it speaks to the core of who we are–the clockwork beats, the rhythmic, almost dance-like movement, the tribal, hive-mind consciousness of something simultaneously far more vast and infinitesimally smaller than us.
Opera takes its time revealing itself to the audience, like a flower opening or a butterfly extricating itself from a cocoon. I hope it gets a release that allows for rewatching, or better yet, art gallery screenings, projected on some massive wall on a loop as folks mingle and breathe it in. This is what Opera is–hubbub, and stillness, and beauty.
Opera is currently playing at Slamdance 2021.
9 out of 10
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