Piotr Kamler – Une Mission Ephémère

It’s all about robots and sugar cubes this afternoon. A crunchy animation with a ’60s space age feel, Une Mission Ephémère was crafted in 1993 by Polish animator Piotr Kamler and scored by experimental/musique concrète composer Bernard Parmegiani. The best part of this clip is watching the way the robot’s facial expressions change as he sculpts playthings and conducts experiments while floating in his little bowl. More clips by Kamler – including Chronopolis, which was his first and only full-length feature – can be found at UbuWeb. Chronopolis and Kamler’s work is often characterized as “science fiction,” but have more in common with Borges than with Star Wars, as one excellent write-up on Kamler notes. [Another hat-tip to Wobbly.]

One Response to “Piotr Kamler – Une Mission Ephémère”

  1. Tabitha Says:

    I found the short films enjoyable, especially Coeur de secours, the feel of which reminded me very much of the game Machinarium, especially the bit with the syringe.

    Unfortunately I couldn’t quite get through Chronopolis, of which at least the first thirty minutes is pretty much entirely plaster pharaohs playing with white clay. According to Ubuweb it won Best Children’s Award of 1982, although I doubt that even French 80s children could sit still for it. I suspect that this kind of award was the only way to honor animation technique at the time.

    In summary, do watch the shorts but skip the feature unless you very much enjoy animation and don’t much care about story.