But Milk Is Important (2012)
Tuesday, July 19, 2016 - 02:34
But Milk is Important is the graduation film from Norwegian animators Eirik Grønmo Bjørnsen and Anna Mantzaris (originally from Stockholm, Sweden. Created at Volda University College in Norway, the short stop-motion animation delves into the world of social anxiety and mental illness in a soft, surreal and, at times, humorous way. It follows a man suffering with a social anxiety, who after a particularly vicious anxiety attack awakens to find a strange creature in his apartment. Why is he here? What does he want? Why is he so fluffy? Since its completion in October 2012, the film has made the rounds on the film festival circuit, winning numerous awards including both the Audience Award and the Walt Disney Award for Best Graduation Film at the Ottawa International Animation Festival, Best Graduation Film at the Se-Ma-For Film Festival, and Best Animated Short +18 Category at the Giffoni Film Festival.
It’s nice to see a film tackling mental illness without over-sentimentality; But Milk is Important offers a reminder of how the most mundane tasks, like talking to a neighbour, seem like unsurmountable mountains, and everyday items, like a carton of milk, a murder weapon. The wide eyed child-like characters, hand-drawn sets and the simplicity of the ‘fantasy figure’ gives the film a sweet and simultaneously unnerving edge. This duality continues with this fantastical creature, who instead of being a stereotypical manifestation of the mental illness But Milk is Important is one of those delightfully immersive short films that manages to tell a lifetime’s worth of stories in just under 11 minutes of exquisitely-made stop motion animation. and that brings a pinch of humour to the serious subjects of anxiety and paranoia, this animated short has been charming audiences worldwide with its distinct style and endearing narrative. Created by Eirik Grønmo Bjørnsen and Anna Mantzaris as their graduation film from Volda University College in Norway. Aiming to create a film with heart and humour, the filmmaking duo blend comedy with tragedy to make an unforgettable short. Social anxiety is an interesting subject and we felt we could work with that quite a lot. The idea of having a man being afraid of people and finding different, silly ways to avoid them would be both funny but at the same time dealing with a more serious theme of living with a mental illness… People don’t seem to think about it too often, but small problems can be quite challenging for some people. Just usual everyday stuff, like getting the mail or making a simple phone call. Bringing in the creature as the annoying helper was our choice to make the story more original and charming.