The Adventures of a Cardboard Box: Humorous Play and Melancholy Loss

The Adventures of a Cardboard Box: Humorous Play and Melancholy Loss

The Adventures of a Cardboard Box is a fascinating short film by English illustrator and filmmaker Temujin Doran, which was named a finalist in the 2011 Nokia Shorts Video Contest. Thousands of videos from around the world were submitted and judged over a four month period, and from those seven films were selected as finalists. The seven finalists were screened and judged at the 2011 Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Temujin’s short film has been described rather simply as the story of one boy’s escapades with a large cardboard box, which he uses as a gateway to a multitude of fantasy adventures. The film is, of course, much more than that; it is no accident that Temujin cited the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip as the main inspiration for his film. As with the major underlying theme of Calvin and Hobbes, this film can be viewed as a contemporary narrative about one young boy’s uses of a transitional object in his play and illusions as explorations of ideas about identity and the self. Ultimately, the film becomes a perfect combination of humor and melancholy loss.

The Adventures of a Cardboard Box: Humorous Play and Melancholy Loss

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Mrs. Peppercorn’s Magical Reading Room

Mrs. Peppercorn’s Magical Reading Room

Mrs. Peppercorn’s Magical Reading Room is a gorgeous 24-minute family-friendly fantasy short film by British filmmaker Mike Le Han, which is rapidly acquiring a cult following in the U.K. and further afield.

Softly-spoken, with an unfashionable English Midlands accent, and wearing 1970s-style chest-length hair, Le Han looks like everybody’s idea of a hard-working rock band roadie. His style may appear retro, but he is clearly a very persuasive man since everyone involved in Mrs. Peppercorn donated their services. This left the production costs coming in at a miserly $50,500, all raised by family and friends. Remarkably, Mrs. Peppercorn’s Magical Reading Room boasts the kind of performances and production values normally found in a big-budget blockbuster.

The film is both magical and mysterious, and from the opening frame it creates a dark world where things go bump in the night and mystery lies around every corner. Mrs. Peppercorn tells of a lonely child who is forced to move by her adopted parents to a remote and spooky Cornish fishing village in the dead of winter. The story is rich in atmospherics in the way it shows how the child finds solace in a mysterious, dust-encrusted bookshop that satisfies her craving for reading and, more important, gives her a sense of belonging.

Mrs. Peppercorn’s Magical Reading Room

(Best Viewed in HD Full-Screen Mode)

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