“The Fourth Wall” praised at Leeds film festival
Art and Experience:
The 35th edition of the Leeds International Film Festival has awarded the Iranian animation “The Fourth Wall” with an honorable mention.
Directed by Mahbubeh Kalai, the movie shows a stuttering boy who transforms an Iranian kitchen into a fantastic cosmos. The father’s body becomes a refrigerator, the mother’s belly a washing machine whose spin cycle gives birth to a screaming baby. Even birds on tiles and detergents have a surprising life of their own.
This exuberant animation, dotted with real-life elements – fried eggs, broken plates, pieces of cheese – develops a subtle wit, ironizing ingrained family patterns.
The organizers called the short animated movie surrealist scenes of domestic life that are disorienting and compelling.
Produced at the Documentary and Experimental Film Center in Tehran, emerging director Mahbubeh Kalai has mixed animated objects with hand-painted illustrations and filmed them using a roving camera. The result is an innovative method that brilliantly blurs the lines between fiction and reality.
The film won the Zlatko Grgic Award at the 31st Animafest Zagreb in Croatia.
The winners of the Leeds festival were announced last week as “Love Is Just a Death Away” directed by Bara Anna Stejskalova from Czech was selected as best animation, and “Amayi” by Subarna D from India was another animation that won an honorable mention in this category.
“Love Is Just a Death Away” is a darkly comedic but oddly uplifting tale about Steve, a parasite, who lives inside a skeleton in an enormous apocalyptic junkyard. Desperate to find a soul mate, he tries to develop a meaningful connection with any soon-to-be cadaver, a very peculiar love story.
The Indian drama “Lata” by Alisha Tejpal was selected as best film in the Louis Le Prince International Short Film Competition.
Lata, a 23-year-old domestic worker, navigates her way through an upper-class home in South Mumbai. Doors consistently open and close, giving Lata selective access to the various contending realities that occupy this space.