Tango (1981)

  |  Animation, Short

Tango (1981) Poster

Subsequent characters appear in a poorly-decorated room, intertwining but never colliding, all possessed by never-ending rituals.



  • Tango (1981)
  • Tango (1981)
  • Tango (1981)
  • Tango (1981)
  • Tango (1981)
  • Tango (1981)

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9 February 2008 | MartinHafer
| One of the weirder animated shorts you'll ever see!
When you first begin watching this film, you can't help but wonder "how in the heck did they make this?"--as the animation style is so odd. I am only guess that they probably used a blue screen (I think green screens for special effects were used later in film history) and filmed lots of different people doing very random things--such as retrieving a suitcase or basketball, changing clothes (with a brief peek of female nudity--not much, really) and taking care of a baby. I assume that each layer of actions was simply superimposed over top the background (which you can do by eliminating everything but the actor with the blue screen). In the beginning, one of these individuals enters the room and then leaves. A bit later, another enters and the last person returns. And over time, more and more and more people enter the picture and begin doing their random actions. None of the people interact and the actions become fast and frantic once more enter the picture. There really is no plot--it's more of an experimental style film.

A fascinating experiment, but not a film you'd want to see repeatedly! It did receive the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film. Did it deserve this honor? Well, the time, it was pretty interesting compared to what little animation was being done at the time (and most of it wasn't particularly good), so for the early 80s it was at least different. However, this same Oscar contest also featured the lovely and timeless film THE SNOWMAN. How TANGO beat THE SNOWMAN is beyond me, as THE SNOWMAN is simply gorgeous to watch and hear. In fact, this might just be one of the worst decisions in Oscar history. Maybe the Oscar committee was trying to recognize a film made in the Communist Bloc (especially since the previous year they game gobs of Oscars to the pro-communist film REDS). In the long run, think about how many people today have seen and enjoyed THE SNOWMAN versus TANGO and I think I've made my point. You can find copies of this sweet film in practically every video store--even a quarter of a century later. Watch TANGO only if you are a die-hard cinephile.

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