11 February 2011

A friend to grow

'Killing Time at Home', a 3-minute short animation film that delivers a punch. Written and directed by Neil Coslett (United Kingdom, 2003).
No dialogue is used to carry the narrative: a music score, camera movements, face expressions, body language - and an impressive amount of carefully chosen details. The EKO banks credit card (with a red smiley logo) and the letters delivered through GOD POST will show you that the unkempt gentleman with a child-like demeanor is in fact Mr R. Rillkrr. His room at 24 Carbon Close in Choccrington (C20 7B82H) is effectively hidden from the dangers of the outside world by a havily bolted door and a heavy curtain that we are more accustumed to see in theatres.
'The New Affliction Quarterly' headlines ('New SCA 3000 gas mask reviewed', 'Celebrities discuss their favourite diseases', 'Why the oxygen is dirty' etc) delivered to Mr Rillkrr together with #247 Zinc Dude offer some clues as to why Mr R. Rillkrr lives a life protected from the state of affairs governing the outdoors.
Other clues about the society Mr Rillkrr lives in come from the stickers on his home medicine and related "fluffy stuff in a box":
personality pills,
an inflatable doctor in a jar,
celebrity licked throat pills,
glow in the dark eye-drops,
an android toilet cleaner,
a speech enhancer (please note that throughout his daily routine Mr Rillkrr is significantly silent).
We are further puzzled by the evidence that Mr Rillkrr shops at 'Bitterfoods' where, apparently, bitter food is tolerated since it comes in cans that can double as remote control cars, and with an add-on helmet.
The dark room Mr R. Rillkrr lives in contains, insofar as the camera lets us see, a computer and a microwave (for Micro Meat). The computer monitor appears to be the sole source of light in the room. There are no chairs or tables. There also seems to be neither a sofa nor a bed. You may conclude from marked plugged-in cables that the room must accomodate at least an air purifier, a relaxation tank and an anti-radiation equipment besides the computer and the microwave.
In order to fully understand about #247 Zinc Dude, do read the caveat emptor small print from www.disposablefriends.com at 0:31 (especially the 'vital information' on habitat and behaviour). Note the logo of the webpage, the price of the 'friend' (15 df) and read the instructions carefully. The 'friend' should climb out voluntarily. Apparently, he does, too.


  1. I watched it again, it's still a bit unclear if Rillkrr is just a paranoid recluse, or if something like a nuclear war really did happen. He has a "Radiation Absorber" (0:04) and subscribes to "New Affliction Quarterly".
    I love how you point out all the little details, and it also shows why animation is best enjoyed on the Web rather than in a theater or on TV: you can stop the movie at leisure to take in all the details.

  2. I wonder myself if this film wasn't made to be watched on the web... I'm not sure if there was a nuclear war, but one things is clear: the society seems completely immersed in issues of health, so the paranoia is not limited to Rillkrr. Note also the C2O used in the address, and the board game (with winnings such as 'free surgery')...
    All these facts are just a background story, the mood... The main story reminds me more of Artificial Inteligence... You know very little about the creature, but he seems to be more a boy than a toy. He also seems to be as intelligent as humans (and at times more intelligent than Rillkrr: winning 3:0 from him in one game, while Rillkrr is getting increasingly annoyed and bored).
    The website marks what Rillkrr has already bought ('sold' - not the same as 'sold out'), which indicates that Rillkrr is far from the only recluse buying friends and then disposing them. Of course, there is also the significant name of the webpage, not to mention to logo...
    On the lighter note, have you noticed what is written on the webpage about the growing time?
    Growing time: fart