Review: You Look Like Me – You Look Like Me (2014)

Directed by: Pierre Hébert, René Lussier | 6 minutes | animation, short film

I read the story of your life – I saw photos of you
I saw you passing by – only passing by
But I couldn’t forget your eyes

‘Tu ressembles à moi’ (‘You Look Like Me’) is an animation film that came about through the collaboration of four men. It started with a French text by Paule Marier, where Jim Corcoran made an English translation. The French artist René Lussier made music for the text and these last two men decided to add images to the whole as well. Finally, Canadian animation veteran Pierre Hébert was also involved in the project. The result is a surprising short.

Abstract animation techniques and a hypnotic narrative are combined in this short film. It is actually mainly about human encounters. A lot can be read from eyes:

You look like my little brother Eugene
So shy, it’s embarrassing.
You look like my little brother Theo
A timid heart – his eyes hidden behind curtains
You look like my little sister Laurence
Her heart under lock and key – her eyes silenced

Throughout a day there is an incessant coming and going of people. In the subway, on television, on the street. We meet a hundred pairs of anonymous eyes, from which we sometimes think we can deduce something. We can speculate about what goes on in the head of that stranger next to us in a bus shelter, but we will never really know. Perhaps in a flash we recognize ourselves or our loved ones in the people who walk past us every day. In ‘Tu ressembles à moi’ all these vague encounters, all these unknown eyes, come together for five minutes in a mix of image, sound and narrative.

Hébert had been working on animated heads and faces for a while on a series of live performances entitled ‘Tropismes’. The animation in ‘Tu ressembles à moi’ consists of a collage of various video fragments from ‘Tropismes’. According to Hébert, the process to put this short film together took ‘either three months or three years’. The result is an interesting, but very experimental, multidisciplinary short film.

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