28 February 2014 | bob the moo
A beautifully delivered memory of a dark time
This short film opens with Paul and his girlfriend walking in the subway on their way home. When a junkie grabs his girlfriend's handbag, Paul gives chase and this leads to a confrontation that triggers childhood memories of his friend Anthony, once closest of friends but divisions developed in their relationship as they got older.
I have been watching a lot of short films recently, having gotten out of the habit for some time; it should be said that I lack the skills and vision to make one myself but mostly I think I can at least string together the words to describe what I thought of them. Junkyard is one of the films I have seen recently that makes me wish I knew more about the process and in particular animation because it makes me realize that I really do not know what techniques were used here to create such a visually stunning film. We have beautifully detailed places and within these we have characters that move naturally and with a detail that is impressive (seeing shadows move across the children's faces as they walk through a wood really impressed me – it is the sort of thing that could easily be left out). I see in the credits that "oil painting" is one of the tasks so I guess this explains the textured and beautiful look that much of the film has, while I assume that the 3D animation is what helps gives the characters their fluidity of movement within the scenes – it often does look like live action in terms of movement and reactions. That said, the film also impresses in its imagination and its creative depiction of other events and situations (namely the fire).
The plot is pretty dark and while as Theo says it lacks a message, it is still a very well told tale and it is an emotional one. The frame of the "passed before his eyes" moment (a phrase Anders would have abhorred) is effective for a start and end, but the middle delivers the most. The detail of drugs is maybe a bigger narrative device that makes the film harder to relate to, but the theme of diverging friendship is one that will connect – particularly at a time when lives still to develop out into paths and where romance and other bad influences come into play.
Hulsing doesn't seem to have been particularly busy when you look at his IMDb filmography, but he has done a great job here as it is a short film that looks tremendous and has a story that is impacting but yet also small enough and personal enough to the main character that it draws us in as well. It is a shame that only two people have commented on this film here on IMDb, because it is a short that deserves more said about it.