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Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Albatross Soup - Short Film Review


The Short Film: Albatross Soup

The Director: Winnie Cheung

The Story: A hybrid documentary film based on an entertaining yet disturbing lateral thinking puzzle.


The Review:
So, there this riddle.

"A man gets off a boat. He walks into a restaurant and orders albatross soup. He takes one sip... pulls out a gun, and shoots himself to death. So...why did he kill himself?"

This puzzle has been used in various studies and research projects for years and has now been transformed into a beautifully rendered animation that brings together interview responses from over 50 participants. The visual style is very reminiscent of animation from the 60's and 70's with bold colors and a very psychedelic feel which becomes a very important tool in taking the viewer on such a wild philosophical journey.

I really like how the various participants' responses are woven together with the narrator leading them through all of the right and wrong guesses until the collective finally reaches the end of the riddle. I felt like I was guessing right along with them and the flow of it all felt very natural which must have been a very intense and time consuming project in and of itself. From what I understand, the film took three years to put together and all of that time and effort really comes across in a film that is fascinating to watch unfold.

From the very beginning, I had no idea what the answer to the riddle would turn out to be and the journey to get there was a visual, mental, and emotional experience that was as surprising as it was rewarding. Turning a thought experiment into an experimental work of art was a brilliant move by director Winnie Cheung and the end result is something that will stick with me for a long time.


Watch the film now on Vimeo!
https://vimeo.com/blog/post/albatross-soup





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