Short Film: The Beautifully Whimsical ‘West of the Moon’

Why Watch? Feeling more like a folktale written by children than for children, this beautiful short from writer/director/animator Brent Bonacorso blends tongue-in-cheek fantasy with the CGI chops to layer a whimsical fiction on top of reality.

Beyond the evocative name itself, West of the Moon feels a lot like what Georges Melies would make if he had today’s filmmaking tools. In the story, an old man regrets a lost love and details with absent-minded precision his adventures with a card-playing robot and a monkey on a mission. Playfully heartbroken in its execution, there are touches of Tarsim Singh’s The Fall and Big Fish here, but Bonacorso proves to have a style all his own — painting with just about every color on the palette and inventing visuals with DP Tarin Anderson that command attention while defying logic.

Plus, lead actor Jacob Whitkin truly brings the old man to life solely through his movements and expressions, adding a saltiness that pairs perfectly with the narration. Overall, it’s a delight from start to finish. A masterpiece of short fiction.

Hat tip to Short of the Week for this gem.

What Will It Cost? Just about 10 minutes.

A new short film posted every week day at 2pm Central.

A veteran of writing about movies for nearly a decade, Scott Beggs has been the Managing Editor of Film School Rejects since 2009. Despite speculation, he is not actually Walter Mathau's grandson. See? He can't even spell his name right.

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