Am I Oright short film

★★★★

Directed by: #YenLiangChen

Animation by: Yen Liang Chen

BFI London Film Festival Review by: #ChrisOlson




#Animatedfilms are highly reliant on their sound design in order to be successful. Whilst traditional cinema also needs to decide on the best approach to soundtrack, score, and effects to suit the story being told, animation cannot rely on natural sounds in the same way as a filmmaker shooting their film in the woods or desert can.


Every part of the sound design needs to be purposeful and entrancing in order to submerge the viewer into the animated film and this is something filmmaker Yen Liang Chen does sublimely with her #LondonFilmFestival qualifying short film Am I Oright. Using everyday sounds as the foundation for her movie, which then utilises 2D #animation to reflect its story about an artist’s journey through the wonder that is creation.


On the artsy side of animation, Yen Liang Chen delivers a spectacularly versatile piece that never lets the audience feel like they can predict what will come next. The visuals are engaging and vibrant, with colour and movement being used to place the viewer in a state of contemplation and abstract thought as they experience the fluidity of the storyteller’s bizarre state. The pacing of the #shortfilm is its biggest strength, allowing a sudden drop in the tempo that was useful in resetting our expectations of the piece before moving into the final section which was almost euphoric.


Contemplative cinema, in particular in an animated movie, is going to find a willing audience at the #BFILondonFilmFestival where the tastes of the attendees are so eclectic, but the wider, mainstream audience are likely to find it difficult to penetrate the film’s point without knowing more about the mission statement of the #filmmaker. With no performances and an unorthodox narrative, hopefully audiences will take time to appreciate the use of such a simplistic art form that is delivered in an intelligently crafted (and complex) manner. The result is a short film wired into the experience of the artist, which can be so many things at the same time.