“Graziano and the Giraffe” by Fabio Orlando and Tommaso Zerbi (2022)
The eternal dualism that characterizes human nature often pits two extremely distant realities against each other. The pure and indomitable soul of a wild animal nature can, in some cases, remain dormant in the shadow of an (in)formal employee costume: this is what transpires from the very first images of Graziano e la Giraffa, a short animated film directed by Fabio Orlando and Tommaso Zerbi, in which a man buys a magical microwave oven that will transport him-along with the objects in his house-into an extravagant abstract world dominated by dense vegetation and bizarre animal-electrodomestic hybrids.
Graziano’s monotonous daily routine, punctuated by treadmill runs and lunches of packaged sausages, is interrupted when he is forced to give up his comfortable existence in order to survive in the imaginary reality in which he finds himself caught up. Here, having abandoned his consumerist habits and immersed in the wilderness, the protagonist regresses to a primordial state, accompanied by animation that emphasizes, with particular irony, the simplification of forms and the violent contrast of color, conceptually recalling the French expressionism of the “fauves” – the “beasts,” in fact – and the painter Henri Matisse.
When desire becomes an irrepressible necessity, everything else takes a back seat and, inevitably, primitive instinct prevails over reasoning, turning man into an out-of-control beast. A phenomenon that, sadly, happens before our very eyes. Every day.
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