Review: Locomotor (2019)

Ca’Foscari Short Film Festival
International Competition 2020

Courtesy of Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival

An anthropomorphic steam train runs on its legs as fast as it can over the tracks, until it suddenly falls into a pool of oil in Isaku Kaneko’s really short animated film Locomotor shown recently at Ca’Foscari Short Film Festival. Can he get out of it and what is the price he has to pay for doing so?

A metaphor behind it, that of a progress and the toll it takes on the ecology and the humankind is not hard to decipher in this short and effective work of animation. Kaneko’s style is, however, something to behold. Doing the animation himself, he opts for a mixed technique of the key motives done in ink, while the background resembles a black and white, or, more precisely – shades of grey aquarelle. The contrast in the image also reflects on the soundscape: Tatsuki Amano’s gentle score on acoustic guitar is confronted with Takumi Watanabe’s striking sound effects.

Runtime: 3’06’’
Country: Japan
Language: No dialogue
Directed by: Isaku Kaneko
Written by: Isaku Kaneko
Animated by: Isaku Kaneko
Music by: Tatsuki Amano
Sound effects by: Takumi Watanabe
Sound mix by: Mocizuki Motohiro
Production company: Tama Art University