479. Le Pas – Piotr Kamler

Ed Catmull Computer Animated Hand

SUMMARY: In an otherwise empty wasteland, a cuboid is slowly deconstructed and reconstructed by the wind.

WHY IT’S HERE: Piotr Kamler’s ‘Le Pas’ seems like a simple idea for a seven minute short but its combination of animated fluidity and Bernard Parmegiani’s haunting electronic score make it utterly, inexplicably captivating. A large brown cuboid is slowly but decisively blown apart and reconstructed a few metres from where it originally stood. The block appears to be made up of something resembling sheets of A4 paper and as their migration gradually becomes faster, the eerie music swells and throbs, at times sounding like a forerunner for Underworld’s ‘Rez’ nearly two decades later. Although little else happens in ‘Le Pas’, there is enough to generate hours of discussion, not just about Kamler’s brilliant, almost tactile animation of the fluttering paper blocks but also of his motivation for showing us these images. I’ve always thought of it as a ritual that perhaps happens daily at the same time and is a gradual attempt by this faceless block to reach somewhere more hospitable. The troubling thing about this is that Kamler shows us only a small area of the wasteland, refusing to let us turn our heads to see if it ends soon or goes on infinitely.

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