The Fabric of Connection

A programme of National Film and Television School animation films connected by the theme of emotional bonding through textural features, curated from our collection by Massimo Ianetti

By National Film and Television School

A Love Story - a still from the film, 1 of 8 (2016) by Anushka NaanayakkaraNational Film and Television School

What is connection made of? This selection of animated shorts attempts to answer this question by exploring the textural features of emotional bonding as well as its inherent tactile materiality, in the form of objects, natural elements, or bodily parts.

Sap - a still from the film, 1 of 3 (2002) by Hyun-Joo KimNational Film and Television School

This visual investigation into the merging between touching and feeling, corporeal and ethereal, physical and spiritual, aims at uncovering what lies behind the animator’s ability to give tangible life to the most unanimated elements of all, emotional attachment.

A Love Story - a still from the film, 3 of 8 (2016) by Anushka NaanayakkaraNational Film and Television School

A Love Story (2016)

This animated short visually displays the emotional complexities of a relationship, following the story of two woollen characters as they navigate through happiness, love, loss and emotional ache.

A Love Story - a still from the film, 2 of 8 (2016) by Anushka NaanayakkaraNational Film and Television School

By employing sound as a narrator, the film is a universal tale of love where the connection of these two fibrous beings, both only heads, floating in a featureless world, is crafted through the transmitting threads of coloured wool, which create a visual language able to convey the untangled emotions of its protagonists.

Zbignievs Cupboard - a still from the film, 1 of 3 (2010) by Magdalena OsinskaNational Film and Television School

Zbigneiev’s Cupboard (2010)

In a strange, quasi-dystopian 1970s Poland, where everything seems upside down, Zbigniev and his father Henio have a difficult relationship, mainly revolving around a precious wooden cupboard Zbigniev fervently desires. However, a change in the dynamic between  the two men forces Zbigniev to re-evaluate his approach to life.

Zbignievs Cupboard - a still from the film, 3 of 3 (2010) by Magdalena OsinskaNational Film and Television School

Here wood is a defining element, as it shapes both the fabric of the characters and the frantic accumulation and obsessed attachment to objects of its protagonist. Yet it also epitomizes Zbigniev’s emotional redemption, as through it he will finally  discover who and what is really important. 

Sap - a still from the film, 1 of 3 (2002) by Hyun-Joo KimNational Film and Television School

Sap (2002)

Sap tells the story of the journey of an old monk who meets a young novice to whom he is able to pass on his love and wisdom. Following the Buddhist circular life-cycle philosophy, the short shows how the two travelling monks seem meeting with and parting from  each other more than once on their life's journey. 

Sap - a still from the film, 2 of 3 (2002) by Hyun-Joo KimNational Film and Television School

This poetic animation is able to concretize spiritual love, souls’ encounter, and the circle of life in visual form, using the oil-on-glass technique to commingling and blending these bodies between each other and nature, producing a whole, unified and uniform link between body and spirit, young and old, past and present. 

The Trinket Maker - a still from the film, 2 of 2 (2002) by Paul DaleyNational Film and Television School

The Trinket Maker (2002)

This is the story of Wendell, whose home in the clouds is unusual and beautiful, as are the metal objects he creates, but his is a lonely life. When a chance encounter and earthier connection seems to offer him an alternative, Wendell is not sure if he dares put his feet on the ground.

The Trinket Maker - a still from the film, 1 of 2 (2002) by Paul DaleyNational Film and Television School

The short cleverly stresses the spatial and emotional contrast between high-up, where the trinket-maker lives, and deep-down, where love might reside. Right in the middle, metal  bridges these two separate worlds, as it offers him both artistic inspiration for the objects he creates and a fleeting-yet-intense love experience. 

Ear Meets Foot - a still from the film, 1 of 2 (2001) by Dean KoonjulNational Film and Television School

Ear Meets Foot (2001)

This bizarrely conceived short follows an overweight man whose left foot falls in love with his right ear during a yoga session. After their first encounter, the story centres then on the hardships faced by the foot in the attempt of being reunited with its hearing-organed lover. 

Ear Meets Foot - a still from the film, 2 of 2 (2001) by Dean KoonjulNational Film and Television School

The film is a mix of live-action and pixilation which instructs us on how emotional connection is all about corporeal sensations, and a brief physical touch can spark a completely unexpected romantic relationship. No matter how different and “distant” you are from your partner, your inner bodily loving nature will guide you to it.  

Hourglass - a still from the film, 2 of 2 (1999) by Matthew HoodNational Film and Television School

Hourglass (1999)

This animation recounts the life cycle of a "sand woman" confined in an hourglass, who is running out of time while giving "birth" to a daughter as the sands of her body run into the lower bulb. The daughter is soon a woman herself, who tries to find some way to halt the flow of time as her mother above her ages ceaselessly. 

Hourglass - a still from the film, 1 of 2 (1999) by Matthew HoodNational Film and Television School

Merging computer animation and drawings, the film investigates the intensity of maternity by encapsulating the mother-daughter relationship in a grain of sand. The use of this earthy-yet-lightweight element enhances the granular essence of life which flows from one into the other, in a self-perpetuating love and life process. 

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The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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