By Marti Dols Roca.
His breakout film Robots of Brixton became viral and that was all but a surprise; considering how mesmerizingly beautiful, thought provoking and unsettlingly appealing it was both in terms of image and sound. His name is Kibwe Tavares and he is known for his CGI-real action fused videos that tend to have a social message hidden beneath the magic of its scenes.
His latest project Robot and Scarecrow tells the story of an impossible love between the dittos. Specificities of the piece aside, this is an excellent example of how to narrate one of the nine or ten stories that exist (impossible love, war between brothers, coming of age, rise and fall…) in a different and unique way; consequently, the audience gets double satisfaction as they will be transported to a world in which the same old story will be as meaningful and surprising as it was the first time they heard it. And, as far as the writer of this article is concerned, this is why we tell stories: to put a frame in the things that matter to us without knowing we are; to enjoy a tale that once it’s over and we are in our bed staring at the ceiling, we will understand how it directly relates to us or someone we know (and still this won’t take our enjoyment at hearing it away).
Robot is an enslaved dancer, as so many amongst their race in fiction and present and near future real life, whose “product life” is about to expire; however, her “bosses” know they can still use her one last time to perform up on stage of this sunny, colored and badass looking music festival.
Scarecrow is tired of having the wind bringing to him the occasional beats and basses from the festival nearby; and so he decides to break the chains that tie him to a wooden stick and let someone else scare the crows while he has a good time crazily dancing as the people around him do.
Robot is on stage doing what she does best, what she was programmed to do, under the amazed and drug triggered stare of the ecstatic audience. Until all her circuits (Futurama, allow me the homage) fail and she is removed from stage. Meanwhile, Scarecrow is another extravagant individual in this party of music and color and seems to be finding his very own hip moving style.
As she defies neuroscience and walks once more towards the charismatic Scarecrow in the crowd; the wild audiences do what wild audiences do at some point during these events: tear this amazing piece of moving decoration apart. And therefore Scarecrow gets Glastonburied. But, as Chewbacca once showed us with C3PO, Robot is not going to let this one pass and she takes the remaining pieces of what once was the best Scarecrow dancer the world has ever seen and manages to bring him back to life.
Now, Robot and Scarecrow walk hand by hand through the tragic, and as unavoidable and beautiful as dawn, outcome of the music festival. Until, alas, neuroscience seems to be more powerful than love and Robot’s “product life” sadly reaches its finale; leaving Scarecrow to remember her by staring at the massive scream that shows the highlights of the festival. It never was easy to be non human in a world of dittos.
You can enjoy Kibwe Tavares work online for free and, as far as the writer of this article is concerned, you definitely should. It’s subtle, gorgeous, the sound design is absolutely impressive and all of this surrounds good and meaningful stories. There’s not much more you can ask for really.
Oh, Michael Fassbender executive produces.
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