Thursday, January 21, 2016

Waves '98
Releases January 23rd, 2016 (Sundance Festival 2016)
0 hrs 15 mins


Director: Ely Dagher
Writer: Ely Dagher

Elie Bassila as Omar
Cherine Khoury as Noura

"Set between Beirut's post-war climate of recovery in the 90's and today's sense of crumbling this is Omar's story. Growing up in the suburbs of Beirut meant that Omar spent his entire teenage years on the outskirts having never visited the segregated city or crossed its borders. His daily life is dominated by the mundane, his parents' economical problems and a certain lack of motivation; his only escape being the time he spends gazing at the city from his school's rooftop. On a cold winter day, Omar unexpectedly witnesses something strange and beautiful, a sort of beaming intense light breaking out from the grayness of the city landscape leading him to venture into the depth of the city. This giant discovery leads him to explore and immerse himself in a world he didn't know existed, a world that is so close yet so isolated from his reality that Omar eventually loses track and finds himself struggling to keep his attachments, his sense of home."

Review by D. Hicks

Now here's my take: If you have ever seen "Pink Floyd: The Wall" film this short is similar in  similar way it depicts the landscape.  It's made in a surreal mix of live action filming and animation.  It's subtitled,  and to be totally honest I don't understand it.

Spoilers ahead

The short focuses on a young man that goes to school and just sits on the roof of his apartment building.  One day a giant crystal elephant shows up, he and 2 other young men and a young woman get sucked in to the elephant and visit this completely animated fantasy land.

Spoilers over

I was constantly thinking to myself for the duration of the short : " Is there something wrong with me because I don't get it?" And alot of "WTH?". Visually it was interesting,  but unless you are a big fan of dramatic animation shorts you will be like me and constantly saying "WTH?" .

I give it 2 out of 5 stars due to the visuals and the choice to be artistic and go half live action and half animation.  But other than that I didn't understand the story or the reason why the lead young man does what he does. Watch at your own peril, I know I won't watch it again.


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