Thursday, September 24, 2009

Kiwi: Three years later and I still sob!

I don't cry a lot. I mean, I'm not one of those people who often finds herself getting misty in the Hallmark aisle, or gets that lower lip trembling at Tim Horton's commercials. (Okay, yeah, maybe one or two of those cell phone ads a few years back, but...cut me some slack, here. I'm trying to make a point.) And as much as I loathe all things Seinfeld (yes! I SAID IT ALOUD! ...surely enough for another entry on its own), I must say, as far as people who tear up easily go: "Not that there's anything wrong with that..." Some of my oldest and best friends get all soppy over the strangest things. I judge not, lest I be judged on the one day someone happens across me as I'm watching "Kiwi". Because that day? That day you'll find me face down in a pile of Kleenex.

Oh, would you look at that? TODAY IS THAT DAY. Again. I'm narrowing my puffy eyes at a certain friend from elementary school who posted a link on Facebook, but how was she to know that Kiwi and I have had a troubled history that goes back several years? It's okay, Tammy. I forgive you.

A small group of you are privy to my off-site locked blog (est. 2001!), and may remember the day I posted about an animation I'd come across that had surely caused a spike in tissue stock for the quarter. It'll take some doing to find that entry, but I'll transcribe it here when I do. I vividly recall several of my friends saying they weren't able to watch "Kiwi" and had no idea why I was weeping all over my keyboard; I guess the link I'd posted had gone down from traffic before most could see what the fuss was all about. I also remember, however, that several good friends posted countless comments containing their most adorable YouTube finds to cheer me up, even without having seen the sad little video about which I was blubbering. Now, see, I really need to find that entry, 'cos you're gonna need those happy, fluffy distractions after you watch "Kiwi."

Notice I didn't say, "if you watch" it. Because you know you're gonna. And you won't feel bad about yourself afterward, since it's nothing like rubber-necking or Train Wreck Syndrome. It's a cartoon, at its base, and how can you be a bad person for watching a cartoon? No, the only reason you're gonna feel bad is because POOR KIWI AUGH.

From the maker of this short and, clearly, utterly unforgettable masterpiece: My Master's Thesis Animation, which I completed while I was at The School of Visual Arts, MFA Computer Art, in New York City. Created using Maya, After Effects, and rigged using The Setup Machine by Anzovin studios. If you would like to download there is a small version at my website: Damn. I'd have given this student his/her degree on the spot.

So shut up already! you're all saying. Let me see what has you sobbing like a three year old, when not even those brutal infomercials make you blink! Yes, yes, fine. A few words of advice, though: Don't read the comments left at the YouTube page before watching the clip. Go in blind and completely unprepared, as I was when I first saw this in 2006. I've already given you an enormous advantage by telling you that it made me cry; had I not said such a thing, you, too, would be staring at the incredibly cute little bird on your screen in mere moments and thinking, "Awwwww! This is adorable!" And then, just like mine did, your face would slowly contort into an expression that would be the offline equivalent of "WTF?!?" and then "OMG" and...well. You'll see.

All right. Secure a handkerchief. Join the club. Take the plunge. Watch "Kiwi." it over yet? Can I stop hiding my eyes?

If you're among the people who don't understand what the hell you just saw, there is, apparently, a helpful site with some sort of FAQ here: I for one had no problem absorbing its message - although "absorbing" makes it sound as though it was a slow and gentle recognition, rather than the slap across the face to which I'd rather liken it - but I've seen a lot of puzzled comments elsewhere, so if you're looking for insight, you know where to go.

I really ought to leave a note for the person who created this animation. Something that would convey how oddly and unexpectedly powerful s/he managed to make an under-three-minute-long MFA project. Because, really...I'd long forgotten about little Kiwi, three years later and having only ever watched it once; yet all I had to do was glimpse the freeze-frame on my Facebook news feed and it all came rushing back. That is the mark of something pure. Yes, it's something that made me cry, but not in the way that a commercial for the Humane Society or the Hospital For Sick Children does. It's...different. It's...just different. And it makes you think, in a very introspective way. It doesn't surprise me to see that "Kiwi" now has its own IMDb page. I haven't looked at the Discussion Boards yet, but I'm guessing, by the millions of views on YouTube, that there are a lot of people marvelling at this beautiful little wonder as much as I have.

By the by, if the original didn't quite accomplish the feat of wrenching a tear from your eye, DO YOU EVEN HAVE A SOUL??? you now have the option of having Gary Jules hurt your heart EVEN MORE at no extra cost. Just sayin'.

Quoting The Beatles is much more my style than referring back to Seinfeld, so I'll just leave you with the video, your tissues, and whatever you take from seeing that precious little bird, and will simply state: I can say no more.



The Mad Hatter said...

So there's me, a slut for comments, noticing that Joel's FIGHT CLUB conversation just scored me another quickie.

So yeah, sexual metaphors aside - thanks for reading my space/leaving me a comment.

I like your style and would quite like to keep up with your stuff...but can't seem to decide which of your seventeen zillion blogs I should add to my reader.

Care to suggest one? Perhaps the space you update most prolifically??

~Ehch~ said...

A slut for comments! A quickie! Lawdy, you're gonna get me some sort of...I dunno...14A rating or something!

Your blog is good stuff. When the first entry I see makes me spit out my drink, that's a gold star on the Ehch Test. And then, of course, you added that you like my style, so I'm now your biggest fan. (I think we're switching roles here...)

And you've miscounted, I see. I have eighteen zillion blogs. (In truth, it's because I don't like the idea of another PrettyH out there. It's an only child thing.) This one's been a bit on the quiet side lately, since the passing of a friend and the need to address it so publicly, but generally, if I'm about to be suddenly interesting, this is where I'd do it. You'd be amazed at how many hits a DAY I get from people searching for random factoids on German lesbians, Purity Balls, and serial killers; apparently I am interesting, to some readers. Not sure I'd want to meet them in a dark alley, but...okay! [ = yikes ]

Anyway. I'm adding you to my blogroll. You're a Chucky P fan who knows his stuff, movie-wise, and keeps a gold-starred blog. I'm sold.

The Mad Hatter said...

Heh...sorry if the disciples of decency came knocking on your blog door on my accord. What can I say, i get feisty sometimes.

Again, thanks for the encouragement. There are a lot of days that I swear the only people reading what I write are me, my fiancee, and my mom...then again, last time I saw my mom, she used the term "too clever by half" far too often for my liking.

Do I owe you a dime for the amount of beverage I cost you?

Anyway, thanks for the add to your blogroll - I do hope you keep reading - and sorry to hear you lost your mojo. If you *do* start putting one of these eighteen zillion spaces ahead of the others, do let me know. For know, I'll follow this one.

Oh, and one final bit of food for thought; the all time weirdest search that lead somebody to my blog...

"Google search: Frodo bricks in Sam's mouth"

(True story).

- Hatter.

~Ehch~ said...

Most everyone is welcome in EhchVille, but I have sensors set up to warn me if the Disciples of Decency come within 100 metres of anything I've written. We're good to go.

You weren't entirely clear about the context in which your mother used that particular phrase; was she directing it at your blog? Because, really, it's better than the alternative. (Is now a good time to mention that I have a deranged sense of humour that doesn't always translate well onto a computer screen, but that I'm often unwilling to give in and emoticon the hell out of a comment or a post...? I'm not to be taken seriously, under any circumstances. Ask Mr. Joel Crary. He's known me for years.)

There's actually an entry, somewhere in here, about the Levels Of Blogdom in my universe (very much like the Biosafety Levels at the CDC, really). I'd been getting a few miffed emails from people asking why they weren't "allowed" to know where my ultra-private blog is located, so I had to explain myself publicly. When people realized that it's private because it's full of details that would be dull as dishwater to anyone who doesn't need to know about my day-to-day life, they stopped asking. So while that's the one I update several times a week, it's not exactly what I'd call a compelling read for most!

Back to your blog: You'll probably find comments popping up from me here or there in response to old entries now, because once I find something entertaining to read, I rather like to give it a proper wade-through. Figured I should say as much, lest the word "BLOGSTALKER!" flash across your mind. (I somehow doubt it would, as I don't think it's an actual word. Well, IT IS NOW.) Besides, you have a readership of at least five, if you count yourself, and two of us have no reason to suck up to you, so you can rest assured that, when I say my dime's worth of ginger ale was well spent, I actually mean it. I also have friends whose fiancé(e)s don't read their blogs, so another silver lining? We can already accurately predict your marriage will be far more successful than theirs.

I now demand that you direct me to the entry which somehow sent that demented Hobbit-loving Googler your way.

The Mad Hatter said...

Good to know the Censorship Cops will be held at bay. On with the show...

My mother might not have said those words exactly. People who wre there say it sounded more like "How's your job, honey?"...but I know what I heard. In case you haven't noticed I have an odd sense of humour myself. I mean how many blogs out there can claim they've compared a Kevin Spacey film to a sanitary napkin? I guess what I'm trying to say is, keep the dry wit coming - I'll assign it the appropriate tone.

I know what you mean when you say that some of your blogs could be considered dull. I have one of those myself, and y'know IS dull! Even for me, and it's my life!

"Blogstalker"...I like it. I couldn't possibly think such a thing, have fun sifting through two years of movie geekery.

Hell, if you feel so inclined, provide some fashion of email. I can drop ya a U2 or Chuck themed note sometime.

As for the post hobbits with particular fetishes; ask, and ye shall receive.

The Mad Hatter said...

...So? Any thoughts on the gay hobbits?

~Ehch~ said...

Forgive my oh-so-slowness; not for lack of anything to say, but rather bogged down with a plethora of family birthdays (September and December seem to be when everyone I know just HAD to be born - damn their eyes). I have ruminated muchly on the Gay Hobbit issue and will apply my rapist wit once I'm able to sit still!