Tuesday, January 22, 2008

More


Apparently it's been available on YouTube for about a year, and was made ten years ago, but I've only just stumbled across this amazing animated short film by Mark Osborne. It's beautiful, with an atmospheric soundtrack, and it's only 6 minutes long:

The Academy-Award®nominated animated short-film tells the story of a lonely inventor, whose colorless existence is brightened only by dreams of the carefree bliss of his youth.By day, he is trapped in a dehumanizing job in a joyless world. But by night, he tinkers away on a visionary invention, desperate to translate his inspiration into something meaningful.When his invention is complete, it will change the way people see the world. But he will find that success comes at a high price, as it changes himself, as well.

To me it says that there will never be a gadget that finally makes us happy, there is no gizmo waiting to be invented that will make our lives seem OK. The pursuit of technological answers to a humdrum stress-filled life is in fact what is making our lives stress-filled and humdrum. The real way to be happy is something you can't buy - after all, children know how even though they have no money, and even though they live in the same grey built environment we do.

But I suspect different people will read different messages in it, and that's what makes it such a powerful film. What does it mean to you?

6 comments:

blackberry44 said...

Oh Mel, I found it absolutely horrible. I can't agree that life is like that.

I agree that there isn't anything we can buy which will make us happy, but if we emulate children and live as much as possible in the moment, if we were to allow ourselves time to stand and stare and wonder we could all be happier.

Then for those of us of a spiritual/religious bent, there's the possibility of practising the presence of God as advocated by Brother Lawrence.

I just wish I remembered to do it more often.

Melanie Rimmer said...

I see what you mean, Blackberry. I thought it beautiful, it reminded me of Terry Gilliam's "Brazil". I agree life isn't like that - mine certainly isn't right now but there have been times in my life when it was, at least a bit, like that. I think a lot of people live lives that are a bit like that. And some of them try to escape by buying of making gizmos. I didn't think the message of the film wasn't that you can't escape that sort of life, just that you can't escape it through gizmos.

I fully agree with your comments about Brother Lawrence - he was the one who said we should do our everyday business as a gift for God, because washing a used car you buy as an 18th birthday gift for your son is a joy and a delight, even though washing your own car because it's grubby, or washing cars for a living, is a chore and an opression. I think it's related to ideas from Zen Buddhism and Taoism, and humanist ideas of conscious living. LIke you, I could do with remembering it more often. I'm going to start now.

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