Evoking some of the most renowned Czech films of the 60s — Closely Watched Trains in particular — director Tomáš Lunák tells the tale of Alois, a middle-aged railway dispatcher haunted by his past during the last days of Communism.
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A subtle, yet pretty, depression-tinged story about a lonely man working at a Soviet outpost. The animation is beautiful and unlike any other film I've seen before. It's a wonderful mixture of gorgeous melancholy and harrowing bleakness. Although the story was a little thin at times, and I felt as though it concluded too abruptly, it was a very surprising little film.
When I think of animation, I think of motion but A.N. prefers to allow stillness to tell most of its story. That moribundity is a stand-in for despair and Kafkaesque government oppression. The upward emphasis here is light and dark and their constant interplay, both literally and as metaphor. Men are dwarfed to insignificance by uncaring worlds of incandescence and shadow. Hardly an easy watch, but worth your time.