Film review: Duku Spacemarines by Le mecanique du plastiche

Watching the peculiar animation short Duku Spacemarines, the viewer is absorbed in 4 minutes of a dialogue between two animators searching for a hypothetical story that supposedly features “the system”, wrestling and the apocalypse. An embryo of a creature where everything seems still undefined. The viewer has probably the sensation of a sort of “live” making of, a draft of an idea still in search of its style, swinging between forms and contents.

As such, we find ourselves wondering what Duku Spacemarines is actually about. We are in front of one of those works where trying to grasp any narrative intentions probably makes no sense: given the subject, precariousness is declared. In fact, what links together a Chinese guy hacking the American capitalist system, a Czech man, roosters and doomsday in a big city? Actually... let's point out the fact that we are clearly in front of a mise en scène of a creative brainstorming, and that probably its creators want to transmit a sense of ecstasy: so, nothing is more congenial than animation, where the image can be manipulated as a formless matter, where nothing is what it seems and images can follow one another in sudden turns, where the (digital) image is infinitely changeable, in this case in a neurotic way. So, the film basically makes an attempt to show a mental process aloud, exhibiting it in the form of a “film-to-make” divertissement, starting from a draft. 

A literally video-ludic process that plays with the grades of digital creation and transformation, that underlies  “plastic” games (the black and white skeleton, the more precise moving drawings, till the hyper-realistic stunning 3D). The fact that the story line concerns “fights” ironically seems to describe a creative explosion that is always on the edge, where when something seems to become concrete, it is still in the danger of being manipulated! In this sense, the name of the team “mecanique du plastique” seems almost a declaration of intents, even if there is a strong risk of seeing this short simply as a pastiche.

Author: Yuri Lavecchia*

Title: Duku Spacemarines

Director: Le mecanique du plastiche

Year: 2014

Run time: 4'

Genre: Animation

Country: France

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*Every day Cineuropa Shorts, in collaboration with Nisimazine and Lago Film Fest (18-26 July), offers you film reviews and interviews made in Lago by the brilliant Nisimazine’s team of young journalists.

24 July 2014, by Nisimazine