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Bye Little Block! by Éva Darabos

Bye Little Block! by Éva Darabos

Hungarian animation artist and director Éva Darabos (a graduate of  the Hungarian MOME Animation department), presents her 2D animation short 'Bye Little Block', inspired by very real situations, yet creating a mildly surrealist atmosphere.

Getting a lot of festival attention (including Animafest Zagreb selection, and the Best Design award at Ottawa International Animation Festival 2020), the film is a story of a young woman who learns that soon she will have to move from the blockhouse flat she lives in.  Yet her emotions (and her tear) are not part of an inner monologue, but are transformed into a concrete monolith -and everything else follows

Watch 'Bye Little Block!'

Film Review (Vassilis Kroustallis)

Letting go of personal memories is one thing; but letting go of personal spaces (even the almost unidentified, indistinguishable, and ugly) building blocks of your former living might be a challenge. Hungarian animation director Éva Darabos does an admirable job of bringing character (and characters) to the animated life in her panorama and caleidoscope of block characters in her 8-minute animation short 'Bye Little Block!'

The emotions and imaginations are fuelled by the selling announcement of the young woman's erstwhile flat. Darabos externalizes (rather than making a psychological study) using the animation liberty to break down the laws of physics and our ordinary perception, and create a colorful, unexpected, and non-linear world. People that slime and crawl from and into their flat, characters that can break into two, a young biker that is swallowed by a sunflower seed shell, firecrackers that don't work (but a moustache will do the job) make up for a menagerie of visual ideas that celebrates diversity, unpredictable beauty and lack of conformity. Even the building blocks themselves seem to participate in a Busby Berkeley-type dance, attuned to the various physical phenomena. The main character decides to fly (taking along her birds in their back) instead of just walking out of her flat, intensifying the gravity-free experience so unrelated to the lived bloc experience (and therefore a pleasure to watch).

'Bye Little Block!' obviously tackles the issue of gentrification (some green spaces still existent in the middle of the area), and has a tender eye for the not-always-so-easy experiences with your block neighbors. It is never judgmental, and it is starkly saturated imagery that puts a confident note on a dream that needs to go on. Animals and humans seem to supplement each other here, with our pets sometimes acting as our big (check the dog) companions. The best shot in the film is arguably the mountain top over the city blocks, a reminder that imagination is stronger than any lazy reality. A perceptive sound design and gentle instrumental music carry 'Bye Little Block!', which is a sweet, inventive, and carefree account of a situation and a space we all have faced, one way or the other.

 

Credits:
'Bye Little Block!' ('Pá kis panelom!'), 2D, TVPaint animation, 2020 (8'42'', Hungary)
Director: Éva Darabos | Scriptwriter: Éva Darabos | Producer: József Fülöp | Music composer: Dávid Vajda Bodnár | Editor: Judit Czakó | Sound designer: Dávid Vajda Bodnár | Supervisor: Réka Gacs | Consultant: Réka Gacs | Production company: Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest​ | Supported by: National Film Institute (Hungary)​ 
 
About Éva Darabos:
She was born and grew up in Budapest and fell in love with drawing and filmmaking in her late teens. She was admitted to MOME’s animation department in 2013 where she finished her BA degree and then continued her studies on the MA programme. During her studies, she spent an Erasmus semester in Turku, Finland at TUAS’s animation department. Besides developing her film ideas she works as a freelancer animation artist. Bye Little Block! (2020) is her graduation film.
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