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Strange Acts of Love

average rating is 3 out of 5


Patrick Foley


Posted on:

Nov 28, 2023

Film Reviews
Strange Acts of Love
Directed by:
Masashi Yamamoto
Written by:
Masashi Yamamoto
Masashi Yamamoto

Masashi Yamamoto’s signature experimental stylings are committed towards the concept of finding ‘the one’ in Strange Acts of Love, an irreverent animated short made up of quick segments populated by a colourful cast of characters.


The film showcases Yamamoto’s typically honest and eccentric humour and imaginings of life, love, heartbreak and happiness. Amongst the segments are two morph-like figures examining a microwaved heart, a couple’s relationship literally making them float, a particularly happy pair of giraffes and more. Each segment lasts seconds at most, but features a unique take on the dynamics of relationships.


The art and animation is vibrant, unconventional and immediately engaging. With no dialogue and minimal sound effects, the visuals are the primary method of storytelling, and the level of detail and imagination packed into the short runtime means that each mini-story will leave an impression with the viewer. Despite the childlike art-style, the animation itself is certainly not for the kids and Yamamoto is not above getting vulgar at times to explore realistic, uncomfortable and ugly truths about love. Not every viewer will relate or appreciate every section, but the creator’s daring approach to his work is admirable regardless.


The film does seem to lack an overall theme or message, and prefers instead to allow each of its smaller parts to exist on their own – linked instead by their style and larger overall focus. Audience members will be forgiven if they question just what the film’s real point is, but the point might be more that there is no point to begin with. Yamamoto’s work is more dreamlike, drifting in and out of various interpretations and ruminations without the constriction of a defined plot. It’s certainly not going to be to everyone’s taste, and the film does feel more made for committed fans of the filmmaker’s work or for specific presentation settings than for the general viewing experience. Whilst bold and boundless, the ultimate point of much of the short segments are also left to the viewer’s own receipt. Again, some are likely to question the point, but one’s own response to what they are presented with is perhaps the most interesting element of the film – and no viewer’s experience is likely to be the exact same.


Strange Acts of Love requires an open mind to get the most out of. Visually striking and impressive is standard for Masashi Yamamoto – it is the emotional and intellectual response that the director is looking to stimulate that is the film’s real aim. It’s not the most effective short to engage these such questions with such a minimal plot, but more of its shorts than not will illicit a reaction.

About the Film Critic
Patrick Foley
Patrick Foley
Digital / DVD Release, Short Film, World Cinema, Animation
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