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Stop-Motion Short Abyssus Abyssum Invocat Screens at Sliff 2013 Saturday Night

If you didn’t get your stop-motion fix last Friday night at the Ray Harryhausen Tribute, you’ll have a chance this weekend to take in the astonishing 9-minute horror short Abyssus Abyssum Invocat when it plays here as part of the St. Louis International film festival.

Abyssus Abyssum Invocat is a Latin phrase that means ‘Deep thinking leads to deep understanding’, though the filmmakers note that it can mean ‘Two wrongs don’t make a right’. Whatever the translation, the film is clearly inspired by Czech animator Jan Švankmajer, the American Brothers Quay, and Russian animator Wladyslaw Starewicz by way of David Lynch and the Saw franchise. Abyssus Abyssum Invocat utilizes stop-motion animation and live-action puppetry to create a darkly comic meditation on capital punishment and religion. I’ve seen Abyssus Abyssum Invocat and it’s a haunting trip. The animation isn’t particularly smooth but that crudeness works in the film’s favor,

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