SUMMARY: An inventor falls in love and takes his new lover back to his world, where everything is mechanical. This artificality tests their love to the extreme.
WHY IT’S HERE: Andrey Shushkov’s ‘Invention of Love’ is a beautiful shadow-puppet love story. While all shadow puppet animations owe some debt to the great Lotte Reiniger, ‘Invention of Love’ owes a greater debt to Anthony Lucas’s ‘The Mysterious Explorations of Jasper Morello’, whose steampunk world it shares. What it has over that short, however, is a greater expressiveness of character, which is so crucial to the story. We can see every thought-process as the central couple fall in love, as the lady begins to despair of the artificiality of her new surroundings, and as the man’s heart breaks in the achingly moving find look to camera. The face is blank, but somehow it says everything through movement alone.