669. El Heroe – Carlos Carrera

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SUMMARY: In a crowded subway station, a man spots a young girl who he believes is about to commit suicide.

WHY IT’S HERE: Mexican director Carlos Carrera received much acclaim for his live action films but he also produced several animated shorts, of which ‘El Heroe’ is the best known and most acclaimed. Apparently envisaged as a live action piece, Carrera decided to animate it instead when filming on the Mexican underground proved difficult. The result is a haunting, pessimistic look at one man’s good intentions that not only prove to be in vain but detrimental to his own situation as well. The character designs are terrific, with expressive, large-eyed creations jostling selfishly for space on the subway platform. Carrera animates them with a loose, squashy quality befitting of their sardine-like predicament. It’s fair to say that one does not come away from ‘El Heroe’ feeling good about the world. It is a representation of a selfish world where a single act of good-heartedness results in punishment and failure.

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