Friday, March 16, 2012

Penny Thoughts ‘12—No Robots (2011) ***½

NR, 6 min.
Directors/Writers: Kimberly Knoll, Yunghan Chang

The simplicity of the very short film cannot be matched by any other format. The advent of streaming video has given new life to the short film, and I am very thankful for it. I always have trouble criticizing a short short like this one, and that only adds to the things I like about them.

“No Robots” is an animated student film that takes a look at prejudice from yet another perspective. Like many a sci-fi flick, it takes place in the not too distant future, a world were robots had played a role in our society, but are now being shut out. The movie opens with a news report spoken in gibberish—there is no actual dialogue in the 6-minute short. The animation makes it clear that robots have been vilified and human protest against them has brought about a widespread ban of robots.

Now the film focuses on a single shop owner, who has joined the ban by adding a sign reading “no robots.” I leave the rest to the film itself, which you can watch on the vimeo link below. I will say it takes us on a surprising course where you learn that things are rarely what they seem, and that our judgment of others reflects more on our own prejudices than it does on our reality.

No Robots from YungHan Chang on Vimeo.

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