In life, these things are certain: If a balloon lands on a cactus, it will pop. If you point a fan at a house of cards, the cards will fall. If you happen to drop a piece of toast, it will inevitably land jam-side down. (OK, so that last one isn’t always a given—but it definitely feels that way.)
These are a few of the inevitabilities that graphic designer Florent Porta subverts in his new film, Preposterous. “I really like old cartoons, humor, and absurd things,” he says. Set against sherbet colored backdrops, his 50-second animated short is full of expectation-defying moments crafted in Cinema 4D. Instead of the balloon popping, the cactus crumbles; instead of the cards falling, the fan blows itself backwards; miraculously, the piece of toast lands on its dry side.
I've been somewhat obsessed with this short film by Spike Jonze since the moment I saw it first making its way through social networks. From the music and dance, to the filmmaking behind it, to the fact that it is an ad for perfume in the most non-traditional way possible. Mostly I keep re-watching trying to recapture the moments of surprise I experienced the first few times I saw it. That moment when your brain registers what is actually happening as she runs up those steps and there are reflections everywhere, was, is, so satisfying.
The film is a creative relative to Jonze's music video for Fatboy Slim's "Weapon of Choice." Both of those films make me wish for a collaboration between Jonze, Qualley and Walken.
Kenzo CD/EPs: Carol Lim and Humberto Leon
Written & Directed by: Spike Jonze
Actress: Margaret Qualley
VFX: Digital Domain
VFX supervisor: Janelle Croshaw
Costumes: Heidi Bivens
Song: Mutant Brain (feat. Assassin) by Sam Spiegel & Ape Drums
Production Design: KK Barrett
Director of Photography: Hoyte van Hoytema
Choreographer: Ryan Heffington
How did “rabbit hole,” which started its figurative life as a conduit to a fantastical land, evolve into a metaphor for extreme distraction? One obvious culprit is the Internet, which has altered to an indescribable degree the ways that we distract ourselves. Twenty years ago, you could browse for hours in a library or museum, spend Saturday night at the movies and Sunday at the mall, kill an afternoon at the local video arcade or an evening at its X-rated analogue—but you couldn’t do those things every day, let alone all day and night. Moreover, content-wise, you couldn’t leapfrog very far or very fast from wherever you started, and there was a limit to the depth and nichiness of what you were likely to find; back then, we had not yet paved the road between, say, Dorothy Hamill and a comprehensive list of Beaux-Arts structures in Manhattan, nor archived for the convenience of humankind ten thousand photographs of fingernail art. Then came the Internet, which operates twenty-four hours a day, boasts a trillion-plus pages, and breeds rabbit holes the way rabbits breed rabbits.