Short Animated Film: Visions Of The Invertebrate
The shapes of things to come. Hard-edged geometric shapes flow into organic blobs flow into humanoid figures in Edwin Rostron‘s abstract animation Visions of the Invertebrate. The logical shape shifting in a controlled space by Rostron gives the film the feeling of an abstract expressionist painting put into motion and calls to mind early experimental film work by animators, particularly the work of Robert Breer.
Given that Rostron places the figure of a canine in the center of his film, the easiest connection to make is between Visions of the Invertebrate and Breer’s classic A Man and His Dog Out for Air, even though Breer was working in B&W and mostly animating formless squiggly lines. Plus, Breer’s dog doesn’t show up until the end of the film. Still, it’s also the fluid motion of one shape to another that connects the films.
Breer also made films out of moving geometric patterns, such as 69, although he was clearly more interested in the repetition of those forms than Rostron is.
Another thing that sets Rostron’s work out is that — especially compared to his previous film posted on the Underground Film Journal, Morris and the Other — Visions of the Invertebrate also resembles traditional cell animation. Each of his shapes is formed by hard black outlines and filled in perfectly “within-the-lines” colors. However, the film doesn’t look like it was actually animated using cells at all.
Also of special note is the disorienting, space age, fuzzy narration soundtrack that serves as a separate entity, but is entirely complementary to, the visuals. The only time audio and visual hook up is when the narrator begins mentioning animals at approximately the same time the dog appears on screen. However, the narration clearly doesn’t seem to be referring to this particular animal at all.