983. Driving – Nate Theis

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SUMMARY: A look at the everyday tensions of commuting by car.

WHY IT’S HERE: Nate Theis’s ‘Driving’ is the sort of animated short that could remind the jaded exactly why they fell in love with animation in the first place. In a world where stiff, dead-eyed characters are taking over the medium on TV, ‘Driving’ is positively alive with energy in its depiction of a group of arbitrarily furious motorists as they drive themselves into a frenzy over their attempts to drive through the heavy traffic. Theis presents us with a series of characters who resemble their vehicles in the same way owners resemble their dogs. They are waiting at a stop light which has a Jekyll and Hyde like effect when it switches to ‘Go’. The building tension in each character is writ large upon Theis’s wonderful drawing style and as the film reaches its inevitable ending, it is a great relief when the camera pulls up into a peaceful sky above the city… for a moment at least. From the twitch of a moustache to the explosion of a vein-peppered head, ‘Driving’ is a film filled with invigorating minutiae and achieves its considerable effect in a taut three minute time frame.

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