He Can't Live Without Cosmos by Konstantin Bronzit
It is very briefly described as "a story about mother and son. It is also about love and destiny". The new film by the twice Academy Award-nominated Konstantin Bronzit, He Can't Live Without Cosmos, comes three years after his widely acclaimed (and Oscar-nominated) We Can't Live Without Cosmos.
The 2016 film focused on two cosmonauts trained to go to a space mission The new film He Can't Live Without Cosmos (again qualified for an Academy Award), is a sequel of a shorts -or a prequel, depending on your viewpoint.
Here's the trailer:
Film Review (Vassilis Kroustallis):
The issue of making a sequel or similar-themed film in independent animation (where marketing decisions and big budget concerns don't really matter) is always a contested path. Confusion (I've already seen this film 3 years ago), instant comparison (the X film of the series was really the best one), lack of inspiration attributed to its creator.
Konstantin Bronzit's He Can't Live Without Cosmos shares the thematic concern and the longing of his previous short We Can't Live Without Cosmos, but he keeps short of resurrecting the past. Instead, he moves the focus from adulthood and male bonding to childhood: how the wannabe cosmonaut actually feels, dreams and desires.
Τhe age-old home (a silent reference to the state of Russian independent animation?) is warm, but really can't keep close the new-born cosmonaut boy, who won't take off his protective cosmonaut armour, not even for a second. And while his mother tries to keep away the past, the boy grows up and starts entertaining the same thoughts Dorothy had before leaving Kansas and travel to the wonderful wizard of Oz. At some point, he needs to find himself in the same tornado that the little girl from Kansan had to fight through.
If there was ever a simple story using economy in its visual expression (no metamorphosis, no sudden visual transitions, no abrupt edits), He Can't Live Without Cosmos would certainly qualify. It is not an easy thing for animation to do drama; the medium itself and its endless possibilities get in the way of less adroit filmmakers, who would trade consistency with variety. Bronzit seems determined to tell a story where each scene functions as a short drama itself, from small age to adulthood. What you watch in the 16 minutes of screen time is a boy wanting to be loved having its own spacesuit, before realizing that travelling to cosmos may not be the end result he seeks.
This quiet desperation permeates both Cosmos films, a two-part meditation on our lonely travel through a space empty of humans. In He Can't Live Without Cosmos, this story is told with precision, pathos, and care for both its two main characters. A deeply felt film indeed.
About Konstantin Bronzit:
Born in St.-Petersburg. In 1983 graduated from Art school. In 1992 graduated from High institute of Art and Design where he learnt at the evening department from 1986. In 1994 he graduated from High Courses of scriptwriters and directors in Moscow. He was nominated for nomination for French Film Academy award "Cesar" (2001), as well as two Academy Award nomination in 2009 (Lavatory Lovestory) and 2016 (We Can't Live Without Cosmos). He is the member of the French Film Academy and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
He Can't Live Without Cosmos, 2019
Director: Konstantin Bronzit
Writer: Konstantin Bronzit
Animation: Melnitsa Animation Studio
Cinematography: Konstantin Bronzit
Composer: Valentin Vassenkov
Editor: Konstantin Bronzit
Producers: Alexander Boyarski, Sergey Selyanov
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