932. To Die By Your Side – Spike Jonze, Simon Cahn

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SUMMARY: After hours in famous Parisian bookstore Shakespeare and Company, a skeleton on the front cover of Macbeth notices Mina Harker on the front cover of Dracula. Their eyes (and sockets) meet and, in their attempts to reach each other, they learn that love and literature never run smoothly.

WHY IT’S HERE: ‘Mourir aupres de toi’ aka ‘To Die by Your Side’, is one of those shorts which becomes more charming when you hear the background behind it. Director Spike Jonze was extremely taken by the work of accessories designer Olympia Le-Tan and asked to buy some of her work. Le-Tan instead offered a trade: some of her work for some of his. The resulting film brings Le-Tan’s work to life, with thousands of stop motion animated felt figures used to create the illusion. Though it has a fairly thin, whimsical (though occasionally sexually explicit) plot, ‘Mourir aupres de toi’ is a lot of fun and feels very much like a tribute to the great books-come-to-life sub-genre of Golden Age American animation, even if it never touches the heights of ‘Book Revue’.

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