The Suppression of Curiosity and of the Individual in Alma

Alma (2009, Spain) is an animated short film by ex-Pixar animator, Rodrigo Blaas. The storyline goes thus: a little girl, passing along a desolate snowy street is “enchanted” by an eerie toyshop that mysteriously unlocks its door and lures her in. The doll that fascinates her keeps shifting farther and farther into the shop, and the child, unsuspecting and with utter awe, reaches out and touches the doll. After a series of nightmarish, pediophobiac shots, the child disappears and we only hear the sound of muffled anxious breathing from within the doll. True to her name, Alma, which means “soul” in Spanish, the child’s soul has become entrapped within the doll. The film ends on this disturbingly ambiguous note.

The film’s producer, Cécile Hokes, while admitting that the film has no moral lesson, remarked that Alma is the story of “a little girl, very nosy, who is interested in everything and who would be punished because of her curiosity.” The tragic doom of the child is attributed to her curiosity (read nosiness). Continue reading

THE CITY

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Lights, glare, colours, so blurring and vivid

The speed of life, Time’s monotonous game

Dolls’ houses, fancy shops, and worn-down houses hid

all so unique, yet so very same.

Men and women, like clockwork dolls,

with purposeful, determined, unhappy faces

insulated from the others by invisible walls

too afraid of leaving traces.

Long never-ending queues of cars

like a many-legged worm surging forward by parts

filling up spaces no matter how sparse

The red heat, sweat, B.P. – the traffic jam a farce.

It’s six o’clock and we come home

Lock the gate—shut the door—

Lock up everything as before a storm

We’ve had enough of the world, oh yes, no more.

Huge skeletons that we see today

Tomorrow changed to sky-scraping malls

What is it we don’t give, they say

“Buy a Swiss soup bowl and get for FREE!! two beach balls”

The deafening sounds of engines and shutting of doors

Of music, dark, metallic and rock

The haunting green coolness of lost village lores

The terror of living, like shadows, they mock—