Innovation in short films does not necessarily need to be characterised by alternative camera angles, outlandish CGI effects or narrative twists. Little things can impress.
Pascal Floerks’ delicate and moving short is an exquisite calling card. Retold through an archive of family photos, the director tells the story of his grandfather, ranging from his World War II paratrooping past to his discovery of Skype. What’s new is the recounting of said tales with a brown bear substituted in the place of Floerks’ mysterious grandfather. On paper, the concept should not work. The presence of a brown bear photoshopped into personal photos could lead to a strange disconnect, the complete opposite quality to what the story requires.
It is quite the surprise to be so taken in by the visual storytelling. This extremely personal tale contains some illuminating distance, a perspective that allows us to look – transfixed – through the microscope at a warming tale whilst preserving the memories in a way that is special and private to Floerks.
It would be remiss to ignore the contribution of Christian Heck on sound and music duties. While the short features no overtly memorable or pulsating musical vignettes, the enigmatic tone of the short is complemented wonderfully by the unpredictably unsettling and curious score.
For those in the know it should come as no surprise that Floerks’ graduation film is a hit. He is a product of the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg, a hotspot of fresh cinematic talent. The quality of the short is obvious to all and so it is of no shock to learn that this film has been screened in over 150 festivals worldwide. Innovation comes in all shapes and sizes; to so masterfully tell a personal tale via such imaginative means indicates the director as a notable talent.
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CAST: Pascal Floerks
WRITER & DIRECTOR: Pascal Floerks
MUSIC: Christian Heck
SYNOPSIS: Bär is the personal story of the filmmaker’s grandfather and his experience in World War II and beyond. The catch? It’s told using pictures of him replaced by a bear.