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Pictures from the Brainbox: A Weekly Dose of Indie Animation - 'Dialogos'

Every Tuesday, Chris Robinson screens and hastily responds to (relatively) new animation short films. Today: Dialogos (2008) by Ülo Pikkov.

'Dialogos' by Ülo Pikkov

My first reaction to see Ülo Pikkov’s Dialogos was back in the year of 2008 was probably, “holy shit, an Estonian scratch film. That’s gotta be a first.” I’m pretty sure it is too. At the time it also felt as though Pikkov – who, yes, studied under Priit Pärn, was trying to break free of that recognizable Pärn look. And looking back, this was sort of a turning point for Pikkov. With Dialogos, he moved away from graphic influenced animation towards stop-motion and more experimental and cerebral narratives (Body Memory, Tick-Tack, Empty Space) that were also sometimes rooted to Estonian history.

As to the content, I think it might be about how technology has led us to rely maybe too much on symbols and signs (note the scene here where Adam and Eve hoist an Apple computer… ) as communication tools (and to think that that this was made 9 years ago before emojis, giffs and assorted visual shortcuts became a steady part of our social diet. Our language has become increasingly visual (I can vividly recall one of my kids recognizing a fucking company logo before he even knew the name of the place), and, well, is that a good thing? Maybe so for people who struggle with social anxiety or shyness. I dunno. I’m trying to find a light to it all. Social media has helped those who struggle with face-to-face intimacy connect with people in new ways…and brought people from different geographical regions together, allowing them to connect and share with more ease. That’s something.  The downside is that it’s further entrenches those introverts, making it less likely they’ll ever learn to be more socially comfortable in ‘reality’. Will language just become a series of emojis, gifs and sound effects? It seems funny now, but what long term effect will that have on language, vocabulary, and connecting with people in a meaningful manner?

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A well-known figure in the world of independent animation, writer, author & curator Chris Robinson is the Artistic Director of the Ottawa International Animation Festival.