2016 was another strong year for the Royal College of Art Animation department. Denise Proctor, Film Director and CEO of Noise Festival, picks out three of her favourites from their graduate exhibition: Mauricio Arrietta’s ‘Vertical Mattress’, Leena Zaher’s ‘Flare’ and Rui Fan Wang’s ‘Between the Sand and the Tides’.
A dreamer finds the mattress he needs in a fancy street of a big city. He does not have the means to take it home so he will have to improvise. The film is a virtual exploration of homelessness and displacement. Mauricio’s painterly style brings beauty to a subject of despair, which anyone who has furnished a flat from an out-of-town Ikea, without a car, can sympathise with. The details are acutely observed, in the tradition of those animators who are equipped to go on to direct live action.
Rui Fan Wang’s ‘Between the Sand and the Tides’
A stop motion animation film that portrays the repeated tension between a girl and a huge anteater, while depending on each other to survive in the desert. The film explores and articulates the mental struggles that Rui went through in her depressive years. The 3D models, at various scales, alone are proof of Fan Wang’s talent.
The mental and physical landscapes of a hospitalised patient collide as she comes to terms with her illness for which there is no cure.
Leena Zaher’s ‘Flare’ is strangely atmospheric, but lacks the narrative detail to make a coherent storyline. Instead the piece resembles the hallucinatory state of a patient. This leaves the viewer with an unsatisfied feeling that the piece is incomplete.