Twelve Shorts for the Shortest Month #7: Memoria (2013)

Denmark / 6½ minutes / color / Animation Workshop Dir: Elísabet Ýr Atladóttir Production supervisors: Anja Perl, Michelle Nardone Story supervisor: Uri Kranot Story consultant: Michael Valeur Animation supervisor: Sean Ermey Voice cast: Shilo Duffy, William J.J. Nielsen, Michelle Nardone, Robert Bennett, Sue Hansen-Styles


Vincent finds himself in a devastated—and devastating—environment. At times it seems like a long-abandoned house. At others it seems like the dilapidated corridor of a deserted hotel where all of the room doors are locked. The objects he touches are prone to hurting him—gashing his hand or giving it an electric shock. And all of the time his experience is shattered by fragmented memories of the family he had as an adolescent: his kindly parents and his little brother Benjamin.

The younger Vincent (in doorway) with little Benjamin and their parents

So, what happened to take him from there to here?

The answer to that question is the story told piecemeal and ambiguously by this beautifully animated short. A lot is left up to the viewer to deduce: I’m still not 100% sure I have the full understanding of Vincent’s story. My guess is that his current environment—the wreckage, the decay—is where he sees himself rather than where he in fact is: that what we’re watching is his exploration of his own mind, splintered by his own horror at what he did. But you may interpret Memoria differently.

Either way, it’s a short worth watching. (There’s a copy on YouTube here.) If your reading of it differs radically from mine, please feel free to tell me so in the comments.

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