Friday Video: Life is Beautiful

Anton is a little man, literally and metaphorically. Tired of the world ignoring him, he decides that there’s nothing else to do with his life but end it…

This is a lovely animation, with a perfect, understated soundtrack. Writer/Director Ben Brand sums up in less than four minutes all the tribulations of Anton’s life, and how they led him to his decisive moment. I think all of us, at times, have felt internally what Anton experiences externally, and I like how Brand turned those emotions into these literal images of helplessness and insignificance. He’s also come up with one of the coolest theories of the afterlife that I’ve seen. Yay Anton!

Life is Beautiful premiered at the Dutch Film festival in 2013. Directed by Ben Brand, written by Ben Brand and Ilse Ott.

Length: 8 minutes, 37 seconds.


5 thoughts on “Friday Video: Life is Beautiful

  1. I certainly have had those days where you just can’t get a break. I had a particularly good giggle when he was in the elevator. This video was also chosen as film of the week on Die Zeit’s blog (the comment section is particularly ridiculousness; sometimes I feel as if I’m watching a completely different video than the commentors). Here’s the main page in case you’re interested:

    • Yeah, even allowing for the mangling by Google Translate, I think I see what you mean (I particularly liked the sentence in the first comment that got rendered as ‘the title “Life is Beautiful” is absolutely past the sitter.’). I saw a few comments like that on Vimeo, too. I guess some people just can’t get past their ethical/moral objection to suicide — which I share, for the most part, but I could empathize with the poor Anton’s loneliness, too. And you can’t enjoy the movie unless you just accept that this was his choice, and then move on from there.

      And I really liked the ending, though evidently the imagery was a bit too subtle for a few people…

      • Really?! Too subtle. Ha. I had memories of school science class. I think, perhaps, it was also hard for people to get past the “brightness” of the actual animation when it is coupled with a serious topic like suicide. I put the google translate on and couldn’t fathom what it was trying to say. When I turned it back to German, it’s a word for ‘depiction’ or ‘portrayal.’

        On another note, the film gave me the sense that the filmmaker was saying: you will struggle no matter where you are (life or death). I wish I could avoid the comments section of newspapers, but it just too tempting.

        • I admit when I saw the film, I was expecting a (conventional) happy ending of some sort. When Anton went banging back and forth in the wind after he jumped, I thought it would be some Looney Tunes type comedy where he’d survive the fall. And the ending completely surprised me, though when I saw it, I thought “How cool!”. And I agree, my expectations likely had something to do with the brightness of the animation style.

          Oh, Google Translate…. even with languages I partially/mostly understand, the translations flummox me, and German is not one of those languages. I think I got the gist of their sentiments, if not their actual words. I thought all the commenters missed the point, but as comment sections go, that wasn’t the most awfulest….

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