Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been subtly OBSESSED with ballets.
One in particular, a less popular ballet called “Coppelia” has always kept my brain ticking.
“Dr. Coppélius is a doctor who has made a life-size dancing doll. It is so lifelike that Franz, a village youth, becomes infatuated with it and sets aside his fiancee, Swanhilda. She shows him his folly by dressing as the doll, pretending to make it come to life and ultimately saving him from an untimely end at the hands of the inventor.” – Wikipedia
The old inventor is lonely and wants a companion, so he creates Coppelia with the wish to make her living. He intends on transferring Franz’ soul to the doll, and his fiancee (who had snuck into the inventor’s home to tell Coppelia off for catching Franz’s eye (though she completely ignores him) pretends to be Coppelia to save Franz. In the process she breaks the inventor’s heart who think he’s finally brought his surrogate daughter to life, and runs off to be married.
Personally I never cared for the fickle Franz who would have easily run off with Coppelia if she were real, nor the vindictive Swanhilda who when HER fiancee decides to cheat on her, decides to confront the WOMAN as opposed to..I don’t know, him?
I always felt bad for the inventor and the doll whom would continue to live a life of darkness. And so, when I was given a prompt from a random word generator.
I knew exactly what I wanted to do.
With this, I had a week to execute the assignment, and after many clunky frames, managed to come up with something that summarized my idea. In future iterations I’d have smoother animation and more intimacy, but I believe “Love and Gears” has a certain charm.
Gears from Sydney Adams on Vimeo.
5:53 train ride
Blue, vast, cloudless sky, blushing red with the dawn of dusk. A rickety silver snake curved through the wrinkles lining Mother E’s face. We bypassed her dusty brown bloodlines, gazed blankly at billboards that clogged pores of her skin. Sunk sometimes, inside her misshapen rock rich veins. My Ipod had met her maker an hour ago, abandoning my ride, me in my hour (and a ½ )of need. I could not slip beneath the watery surface of the music’s comfort and distortion. Had to listen to the droning of a man cooing comforts to his wife about his arrival to Wyandanch.
Sunlight’s glare showed windows tinted with dirt, liver spots of age staining the old snake’s cheeks. I was bored, so extremely bored when I saw him. He stood tall on the top of an unmarked brick building. Dusk’s copious powder soaked up his color, reduced him to a pair of pitch black limbs. Left hand on his heart, lone black limbs watched the trains beneath him, feet fingering the edge. Feet so close to the edge, feet off the edge?
My heart stopped. I felt paralyzed. Gone, even before my muscles clenched to stand. Gone! Get up! Why aren’t you getting up? Pointless. You’re mistaken, you miss-saw. And if he was…if he had, you couldn’t have saved him. You were in a moving train far from any discernible station.
The denizens of the 5:53 didn’t stir. I was livid, silently hysterical with my horror. How my teeth craved for the sweet distraction of ear-buds, phones, newspapers. I wanted to taste the sickening meld of wires and plastic as headphones drifted too close to a man’s mouth. Wanted to taste the dry salty chew of a woman deeply devouring her newspaper. Every row had a sweet, every row had a cavity.
So nobody saw him. I shouldn’t have seen him.
I should have missed that living statute who thought, nobody would see.