Published May 31, 2011Despite being a program that's ostensibly about death and illness, there are a couple of comedic titles in the mix shaking up the tragedy with a little bit of irreverence and spirit. It's just unfortunate that despite having a variety of tones, most of these titles aren't particularly noteworthy.
First short Rubika is a Lego-style animation about what might happen if the world were a Rubik's Cube, which lifts spirits for the decidedly less playful Cold Blood, where a trip to the hospital takes an unexpected turn for a mother and son.
A Lost and Found Box of Human Sensation, narrated by Sir Ian McKellan, takes animation to a moribund place, listing the sensations leading up to death. And while this gloomy subject matter is ameliorated by appropriate, yet intricate, animation, it's darkly comedic follow-up Life and Death of Yul Brynner that stands out, showing what happens when a sick joke about death goes a little too far.
The documentary inclusion, Holding Still, tells the story of a woman paralyzed by a Schizophrenic, acid-dropping lover via spy cams, photographs and intriguing imagery, drawing a terrifying portrait of mental illness and love's blindness. Given the gravity of this doc, the levity of Altarcations is appreciated, showing what happens when an engaged couple invite over an unorthodox priest to consult them on using Nine Inch Nails' "Closer" for their nuptials.
A Doctor's Job similarly takes the comic route, featuring a doctor taking unlikely jobs to make ends meet, while Going Nowhere wraps up the batch on a far less uplifting note, detailing the struggle of an ex-athlete adjusting to wheelchair life. Told almost entirely in a single location, this story of fraternal love and bitterness stretches the limits of human compassion and empathy.