Review: Vent (2005)


Directed by: Erik van Schaaik | 5 minutes | animation, short film

In filmmaker Erik van Schaaik’s short animation film ‘Vent’, music and image merge in a very beautiful way. His two main characters, a man and a little girl, can only be seen in silhouette against a background of fast-blowing clouds. The screen is divided in two by a vertical black bar and the man tries to get from right to left with all his might against the wind. Van Schaaik has paid a lot of attention to small details, which ensure that – despite the caricature of his figures – they are nevertheless credible. An example of this is the trembling of the leg when the man applies force. The stubborn and cute girl, with her two braids that only flutter slightly in the wind, is not at all impressed by the weather conditions and turns out to be smarter than her older fellow player. She soon comes up with the solution to the problem. It is very funny to see how she manages to outdo the man as if it were the most natural thing in the world.

Van Schaaik has only created a space with seemingly simple lines of which the viewer does not immediately realize what it actually represents. The punch line, as it should be, comes at the end, and it’s a nice reward. Ernst Reijseger’s jazzy score on cello and Eric Vloeimans on trumpet complement the images perfectly. “Vent” has won many awards at film festivals, including the Prix Fipresci (International Film Critics Award) at the International Festival d’Animation in Annecy. The film was also nominated for two Golden Calves (best film and best music).