SUMMARY: A hillside and the lives of the rocks upon it is depicted in both geologic and real time.
WHY IT’S HERE: A wonderful German stop-motion puppet piece by Chris Stenner, Arvid Uibel and Heidi Wittlinger, ‘Das Rad’ amazingly portrays rocks as alive but moving at a fraction of the rate we are. The short ingeniously switches between the two time frames, with scenery changing rapidly in the background as seconds of the rocks’ conversations equate to centuries in human time. There are great little comedy moments, such as when one of the rocks throws an acorn at the other and a tree pops up immediately. Ultimately, human development at first seems to threaten the rocks’ existences and then predictably begins to degenerate into a rather bleak but inevitable outcome for the human race. ‘Das Rad’ really needs to be seen to be believed and the film is so richly detailed that the eye catches different things each time. It was nominated for an Oscar but lost to the less inventive though still enjoyable ‘The ChubbChubbs!’