All this month we’ll be reviewing the Oscar nominees for the best animated, live-action, and documentary short films, alternating daily between categories. Check back tomorrow for the next installment.
In a recent interview, writer-director-producer Minkyu Lee cites Terence Malick and Andrei Tarkovsky as some of the influences on his first animated short. That may sound overreaching, but what’s most impressive about Adam and Dog (which you can watch here) is how it assimilates its models into a style of its own. The film tells the story of the Garden of Eden from the point of view of the first dog on earth, stressing environment and sensation over dramatic incident. When key moments of the story occur—the appearance of Eve, the humans’ expulsion from the Garden—they appear as they might to an animal, circumstantial and vague. (This recalls the narrative structure of Malick’s Days of Heaven, which presented an epic love story from the perspective of a 12-year-old girl who couldn’t fully relate to it.) Yet a sense of awe pervades.