26. August 2019 Johannes Wolters

Täglich einen Kurzen: Negative Space von Ru Kuwahata und Max Porter

Negative Space A Film by Tiny Inventions (Ru Kuwahata & Max Porter) http://www.tinyinventions.com

„Right at the outset, let me lay my cards on the table—this is a nearly perfect short. I qualify that statement with the “nearly”, only because I do not believe that art is a competition towards a platonic ideal. Though our site has taken on the challenge of serving as an arbitrator in questions of artistic and entertainment value, I still tend towards relativism in these matters. Taste is personal, and besides, perfection is often incompatible with innovation and risk-taking. Some of my favorite short films are decidedly imperfect and all the more enjoyable to me because of it.

But back to the point—Negative Space is practically perfect. Like so many shorts I admire, the film incorporates multitudes of seemingly contradictory qualities: at a mere 5 minutes, there is really no wasted space, and yet it is exceedingly spare. Based off a celebrated Ron Koertge poem that clocks in at only 150 words, it allows for moments of subtlety and contemplation that are so necessary in visual storytelling—those perfectly blocked shots, held for an extra moment, that drive home the rich emotional interiority of its characters. It’s simultaneously one of the most humanistic films of recent memory, but it also stars no humans. Its stop-motion animation is expressive, detailed and grounded, and yet it has no compunction about taking off on flights of fancy, segueing via delightful transitions into fantastical asides that play with scale and setting.

And, most remarkably, none of these elements are simply stylistic choices, excuses for technical bravado, or kludgy compromises to the process of adaptation. They are all deep reflections of the film’s core themes, representing and enriching them. Adapting work from another medium is rare for shorts, but rarer still, in any medium, is an adaptation that exceeds the original. Negative Space fills in the subtext of Koertge’s poem, but doesn’t bludgeon it, and the insights and personal experiences the film’s creators bring to the source material prove additive rather than incongruent, elevating the work.“ – S/W Curator, Jason Sondhi

CREDITS Director / Writer: Max Porter & Ru Kuwahata Production: Nidia Santiago & Edwina Liard Co-production: Jean-Louis Padis Original poem: Ron Koertge Set Decoration: Ru Kuwahata, Marion Lacourt, Victoria Tanto, Max Porter Puppets: Ru Kuwahata, Satoru Yoshida, Tomas Gebcyznski, Max Porter Animation lead: Sylvain Derosne Additional animation: Eric Montchaud, Ru Kuwahata Cinematography lead: Nadine Buss Additional cinematography: Simon Gesrel, Max Porter Production / Post-production management: Nidia Santiago & Edwina Liard Production Assistants: Philippe Baranzini, Walid Païenda, Fred Borja, Lucile Pellerin, Maxime Lebalanc, Juluien Renrad, Willy Fair Post-Production: Max Porter, Sami Guellai, Pierre Morin, Ru Kuwahata Editing: Max Porter Music & Sound Design:Bram Meindersma **posée et enregistrée avec le soutien de la SACEM en association avec Ciclic Voice:Albert Birney Voice Recording: Keviln Hill, CAS Color Grade:Thibaut Pétillon Sound Mix: Matthieu Langlet —Studio Providers— Voice recording facility: Studio Unknown Decoration: Ciclic Animation Puppets: Moving Puppets Animation: Ikki Inc., Manuel Cam Studio, Tiny Inventions Post production: Ciclic Animation, Ikki Inc. Color correction: Royal Post Sound mix: Eclair Typography: YouWorkForThem Insurance: Gras Savoye Bank: CIC Accountant: Lebrun Audiovisual Distribution: Miyu Distribution Publicist: Fumi Kitahara —Funding— Avec la participation du Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée – Contribution Financière Avec la participation d’Arte France – Unité de Programmes Cinéma Avec le soutien de la Mairie de Paris en partenariat avec le CNC Avec le soutien du CNC (Nouvelles Technologies en Production) Avec le soutien de la Procirep et de l’Angoa Puffin Foundation Ltd. Marcella Brenner Grants for Faculty Research Development from Maryland Institute College of Art La Maison des scénaristes Negative Space has been supported in production by Ciclic-Région Centre Val de Loire, in association with the CNC. It has benefited of the support for original music creation by the SACEM in association with Ciclic. It has been hosted in Vendôme (France) from June 2nd to September 2nd, 2016, and from December 1st to January 31st, 2017. Ciclic is a public institution for cultural cooperation created by the Centre-Val de Loire Region and the French State. www.ciclic.fr. Year: 2017 Country: FRANCE © Ikki Films / MANUEL CAM Studio / Ikki Inc.

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