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Ars Natura: Brand Apocalypse

  • Posted by karl burkart on March 8, 2010 in Art
  • Precious, Up in the Air, Inglorious Bastards, Avatar – we all know the big budget, big name pictures that were celebrated by the Academy on Sunday. But perhaps the most visionary and socially momentous film made in 2009 was not to be found in the feature film category but in the animated shorts category – Logorama.

    The French film directed by H5 (Ludovic Houplain, Francois Alaux, Herve deCrecy) won the animated short film category on Saturday for its hilarious and biting commentary on a modern world that is literally made up of corporate logos.

    The occupants of this world are themselves well-known brands -- Big Boy, the Jolly Green Giant, Original Pringles and his younger brother Hot & Spicy, the sexy Esso girl (our heroine) a police force of Michelin Men, and of course the Joker-like villain Ronald McDonald.

    Like Avatar, the film is about our society’s relationship with nature, but where Avatar takes us on an escapist journey to save the paradise we once had but lost, Logorama quite graphically (yes logos bleed too) shows the demise of world in which all semblance of nature is replaced by branded metaphor.

    The adventure begins at the Los Angeles zoo which is populated by well-known animal brands like WWF Pandas, the MGM lion, the Republican elephant, the Camel camel, the John Deere deer.

    Biblical references abound as the city is struck with a massive earthquake that utterly destroys the fabric of corporate America. Levis, Nike, AIG, even IBM with its “solutions for a small planet” – they topple one by one while a stampede of animals breaks free from the zoo.

    Our heroine races out of the city in a stolen police car eventually hurling down the mountain and flying headlong into an Apple apple tree filled with MSN butterflies, the flutter of distant Bentley birds above… and then silence. Even the oil rigs grind to a halt.

    The biblical flood that ensues provides a final fitting twist as the mutli-billion dollar corporate empires built on the wealth of the Earth’s natural resources are returned to their source – a sea of oil.

    - Karl Burkart


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