Features and Columns

The History of Humanity Condensed: The Manic Montage of ‘In A Nutshell’

Here’s a short animated film that presents the history of the world…in a nutshell.
In A Nutshell
By  · Published on May 19th, 2020

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If you’ve ever wanted to know what David was actually seeing in the trippy, kaleidoscopic finale of 2001: A Space Odyssey, this may very well be it.

In A Nutshella short film directed by animator Fabio Friedli is made up of 3,000 individual pictures, spliced together into an impressionistic montage that would make Sergei Eisenstein blush. Friedli compresses mankind’s best and worst qualities into under five minutes, blazing frantically through fractal agriculture, industrial warmongering, and the documentary ephemera of human life.

The article accompanying the film’s Vimeo Staff Pick premiere details the importance of the film’s breakneck rhythm. “It is such an excessive amount of things, shown in such a short time, you are never able to perceive everything,” Friedli explains. “I like to believe it’s one’s subconscious that chooses what you see, hear, and feel, depending on what is occupying your head and heart at the moment. No one has the same first In A Nutshell experience.”

You can watch In A Nutshell here:


Who made this?

In a Nutshell was directed by Swiss-born animation filmmaker and musician Fabio Friedli. You can browse Friedli’s video content on Vimeo here, and his music on Spotify here. Friedli also devised the film’s score and sound design under his musical pseudonym Pablo Nouvelle. In a Nutshell was produced by YK Animation, a small studio located in Bern, Switzerland, that produces short animated films as well as music clips for up-and-coming bands.

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Based in the Pacific North West, Meg enjoys long scrambles on cliff faces and cozying up with a good piece of 1960s eurotrash. As a senior contributor at FSR, Meg's objective is to spread the good word about the best of sleaze, genre, and practical effects.