Monday, December 3, 2012

Paperman: Short Film Review

La Luna currently held the #1 spot in my short-film favorites heart, that was until I sat in my theater seat and saw Paperman on screen. For you short-film buffs, this one does not disappoint! Directed by John Kahrs, the short is actually created and rendered in CG, but it is created to look like original 2D-drawn animation. Confusing, huh? A CG animated short made to look 2D! The film has no dialogue and is also completely black and white besides one color: red.

Storyline follows so if you don't want to know what happens, continue to the last paragraph!

The adventure follows a young man in New York in the late 40’s who has a sort of random run-in with a beautiful young lady, a stranger. The man is carrying a stack of papers when the wind sends a sheet flying smack into the woman’s face.   When she hands it back, they both chuckle as they see a bright red set of lips have been imprinted on the paper from the woman’s lipstick. The two part on separate trains and the man quickly realizes the mistake he has made of letting the woman go without further conversation. He returns to his office in a tall building where he files paperwork. With his window open he looks out to see the lady entering an office across the street in a separate building. In a panic he conjures the idea of throwing a paper airplane toward her. A decent amount of time is spent on the man’s attempt at grabbing her attention. His planes continuously fail, by either missing the window, landing in the trash behind her, falling to the street below, and even hitting a man in another room in the building. Soon the last sheet left is the one with the lipstick on it, but before he has a chance to throw it, the wind sweeps it away. The man’s boss appears and with a glare sets down another stack of papers, insisting he do his work or else.

The man sees the woman leaving and decides that it’s much more important to find her and rushes out of the office leaving his coworkers confused. However, once the man runs outside he has lost the woman. He then, with low spirits, walks through the streets but finds the lipstick covered paper on a mailbox and sends it flying out of frustration. Suddenly, all the airplanes the man threw in failure begin to move on their own and attach themselves to the man, becoming a guide in the busy streets of New York, pushing him against his will all the way back to the train. Even though he tries to fight the papers, they are too strong. Meanwhile the lipstick covered paper lands in the sight of the woman, but when she tries to grab it, it flies away. She chases after the paper, back onto the train she took. Eventually the trains that both the man and woman were on return to the station where they first met and they are reunited. The picture ends with stills of them sitting in a coffee shop together with the lipstick stained paper, laughing.

Continue here for non-spoilers:

This short was incredibly beautiful, the black and white colors went phenomenally with the CG animation, it really blew me away. Something that got me even after watching it twice, was always the music which was created by Christophe Beck. Extremely fitting and perfect for the picture, it was very hopeful, light, and fun. I really hope that Disney will, at some point, decide to do a completely black and white CG movie. I think that audiences would be very receptive, if done right. The characters, drawn very tall and slim, created a fantastical style for the film, but the details in the faces and movements brought back enough reality that you were immersed in the story without a second thought; I loved it!

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