Short Film: A Fish-Man Wreaks Havoc in ‘No Need to Teach a Bear to Fly’

By  · Published on May 30th, 2013

Why Watch? Even if you’ve had a bit of a bad day, whatever went wrong pales in comparison to the miserable luck spread by the enigmatic fish-man at the center of Osman Cerfon’s “Sticky Ends” films. The fledgling series makes a little more sense under its French title, “Chroniques de la poisse” – poisse is French for chronic bad luck, which sounds like poisson, the word for fish. The mute, amphibious protagonist of these films releases little air bubbles that attach themselves to unsuspecting bystanders and unleash elaborate tragedy and creative misfortune.

Today’s short is the first installment, 2010’s No Need to Teach a Bear to Fly. Cerfon begins in an airport, setting the tone with an impish blend of witty animation and dark, deadpan humor. It’s not quite laugh-out-loud funny, but the short makes much of its “fish out of water” situation, bolstered by the matter-of-fact manner in which Cerfon depicts an inconsiderate world.

Commercial pilots, boy scouts and even little old ladies find themselves victims of Cerfon’s wry sensibility, all of them animated with an odd sort of aplomb. No Need to Teach a Bear to Fly is brutal and even upsetting at times, but it more than makes up for it by continually subverting our expectations.

Cerfon’s second “Chronique de la poisse” film, Like Rabbits, plays tomorrow night in Rooftop Films’ “Trapped! Creepy Short Films” program in New York City.

What Will It Cost? About 7 minutes

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