Animated Short of the Week – How Wings Are Attached to the Backs of Angels
How Wings Are Attached to the Backs of Angels (1996)
Dir. Craig Welch
Another animated short presented courtesy of the National Film Board of Canada, again showing their tireless dedication to the art of animation. And, as last week also showed, them Canadians like em dark… This is the little tale of a wealthy inventor who has exiled himself to the jungle, where he spends his days obsessing over a woman whom he believes to be an angel… Oh yeah, and he performs surgeries on skeletal remains of animals in order to find a way to attach wings to said woman. It’s a positively Cronenberg-ian film, and not coincidentally, this film was said to have shown directly before Cronenberg’s Crash, a fitful pairing I must say.
How Wings Are Attached to the Backs of Angels is done in simple high-contrast black and white, complimenting the dark subject matter gracefully. The director certainly treats the affair with an inventor’s touch, placing old animator’s tricks such as a complex Rube Goldberg machine directly into context with the narrative, as opposed to just being there for surrealism’s sake. The film’s Gothic style certainly wears its influences on its sleeve, but the poetic, wordless tone brings something more to the table, something a bit more haunting than just a row of dark images. Enjoy.