Five Short Films About Time




Animation is a time-consuming business. Perhaps that's why so many animated films are preoccupied with time. In any case, it's a theme to which the medium is well-suited: unconstrained by the age of actors, free to indulge their visions of a distant future or remote past, animators have a lot of scope to play with the passage of time. And they do – time and again, animation programmes are stuffed with films about age, immortality and the speed at which life passes us by.

Here, then, are five brilliant animated shorts that approach the subject in five different ways. We'll meet a scientist who's convinced that insects hold the key to forestalling old age; a gang of robots stuck in a nightmarish limbo where time is on a loop; a girl who spends her entire life waiting for a moment that never comes; a depressive man who reminisces about his days in the womb; and a solitary shepherd who seeks to attain immortality by planting trees. Time may be forever slipping away from us, but with their wit and ingenuity, these films bring it within our grasp.

The programme is as follows. Each short will be briefly introduced by film journalist Alex Dudok de Wit.

The Eagleman Stag (Mikey Please, 2010). 9 minutes.

Revolver (Jonas Odell et al, 1993). 8 minutes.

Father and Daughter (Michael Dudok de Wit, 2000). 9 minutes.

Edmond (Nina Gantz, 2015). 10 minutes.

The Man Who Planted Trees (Frédéric Back, 1987). 30 minutes.