Watch Passer Passer, the Soundtrack of Urban Life

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Passer Passer animation Sundance 2014

Nameless characters blend with the surroundings in Louis Morton’s hectic Passer Passer

Sundance 2014, aside from featuring the animated treatise on the inability to create and be unique, Drew Christie’s Allergy to Originality, also screened Passer Passer by Louis Morton, an animated short that examines the hectic contemporary lifestyle. Morton revealed the technical details of the film’s complex sound editing, mixing, and animation in this interview for filmslie. If Three Poems is all about the universal tranquility of nature, Passer Passer is about the loudness of the city.

Passer Passer stands out with its unique visual style and complex sound editing, which dictates the rhythm of the film much like in La Jetee and Poetic Justice. People come and go, whisper and yell, but don’t really say anything to each other. At one point among the chatter a voice stands out, “One hundred percent free.” It is probably a commentary on the modern overabundance of information and marketing.

The movie does not focus on any particular character, nor does it follow a story. Instead, it observes from distance the environment, the interaction or lack thereof in a modern hectic society. (Unlike Robert Bresson, who prefers to emphasize characters over their surroundings.) Everyone seems to be in a hurry, but we are not quite sure if they are going somewhere or simply lost in the race for jobs, salary, and attention.

Silverware and street sounds blend in Passer Passer to create an eerie symphony of noise. The scenes change spinningly fast, while the people and buildings do not navigate according to the anatomical laws, occasionally flying and fluttering around. But despite these creative exaggerations, Passer Passer could almost be an animated documentary of Homo Urbanus (who shares a common ancestor with Homo Posthumous). If you have a few minutes to spare from your busy Monday schedule, take a look. You may recognize yourself.