18 August 2010

Alone Together

Alone Together is an animated short film by Home de Caramel, a studio based deep in the woods outside Barcelona in the beautful Catalan countryside. The film is inspired by the song Alone Together, written by Arthur Schwartz and performed here by the incomparable Chet Baker.

Don't expect the What's Up Doc? school of animation here.  The pase of Alone Together is languid and the mood more melancholy than manic - as the title of the song suggests.  What is remarkable about this animated short, however, is the storyline.  The 'camera' pans three hundred and sixty degrees a number of times around a cocktail bar and we slowly but surely see the activities of a number of its clientele as the evening progresses.  It is very noir in spirt -  I was almost expecting Mike Hammer to walk in and start doing a voice over about it being a dark and stormy night.

The narrative is quite straightforward but there are visual metaphors within the film that are subtly done and add rather than detract from the overall film noir effect.  You may need a drink or two yourself after watching this, but as a meditation on the human condition it is one of the better animations I have seen.

Alone Together is, then, definitely animation for grown ups.  All the piffle about the major studios bringing animation to adults is just that - smaller studios like Home de Caramel have been doing it for years (it must be said, however, that this studio has only been operating since 2008).  If this is a good example of their output then we can only imagine what the studio will bring to us once, like a fine wine, it begins to mature.