Thursday, May 31, 2012

Short Film: Sebastian's Voodoo (USA, 2008)

This little film is short and sweet, but nevertheless serves up some questions regarding self-sacrifice and courage. There is no what, why or how to the situation shown: the film simply starts with a row of living voodoo dolls hanging in wait to be used and killed by the voodoo master. But one succeeds in escaping – what should he do? Save himself or his fellow dolls? In Sebastian's Voodoo, Baldwin manages to give his initially seemingly interchangeable dolls a surprising amount of individuality and expression, and the film itself has a nice aura of fear, doom, sacrifice and pathos. Baldwin obviously still believes in the basic goodness of man – or doll, as the case may be – and he does an amazing job of conveying this in such a short time. 
This 4.06-minute film is the second short film of Joaquin Baldwin, a young animator born on 21 February 1983 in Asunción, Paraguay. Stylistically, Sebastian's Voodoo is at odds with his other two sentimental shorts, the preceding Papiroflexia (2007) and subsequent The Windmill Farmer (2010), but an underlying view of the world is nevertheless apparent.
Born to an "environmental activist" mother and artist father, Baldwin began experimenting with computer graphics at the age of 15; at 19, in 2002, he came to the US to study as Columbus College of Art & Design, in Columbus, Ohio, quickly changing his major from graphics to animation. Baldwin moved to LA thereafter, and in 2010 received his MFA in animation from UCLA. 
He currently lives in Los Angeles where he works for Disney and does an occasional short.

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