A Single Life (2014) Staff Pick Premiere

A Single Life (2014)

When Pia plays a mysterious vinyl record single, she suddenly knows how to travel through her own life.

It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film (Oscar) at the 87th Academy Awards. 

After Pia plays a mysterious vinyl record, she suddenly knows how to travel through her life. A Single Life.

Directors: Joris Oprins, Job Roggeveen, Marieke Blaauw

Music Director: Happy Camper

Cast: Pien Feith

Screenplay: Joris Oprins, Job Roggeveen, Marieke Blaauw

Producers: Joris Oprins, Job Roggeveen, Marieke Blaauw

Humanity’s fascination with time travel is age-old. From Ebenezer Scrooge to Marty McFly, the mere idea of spinning the clock back into the past, or forward into the future, has tempted us to infinity. Used as a cinematic device, whether in science fiction, thrillers, or comedies, time travel has the unique ability to help us explore the endless nature of our universe... and discover the very truth about what it means to be human.

This short picks of @vimeo week’s Staff Pick Premiere, “A Single Life,” the Dutch animation studio Job, Joris & Marieke puts its own unique twist on the time travel format, and in two short minutes delivers a playful and poignant tale about slowing down and appreciating life as it happens. The film, which received an Oscar® nomination for Best Animated Short, follows Pia as she listens to a mysterious vinyl record that allows her to jump through time and space over the course of a single song.

The origin for the film dates back to 2001, when creators Job Roggeveen, Joris Oprins, and Marieke Blaauw were sitting in a dorm room at The Design Academy in Eidhovenm listening to an ABBA record. As the vinyl skipped they entertained a bizarre idea — had the record skipped forward, or had they in fact traveled through time? Nearly a decade later, they revisited this idea for a short film competition. “What if you could skip through time using a vinyl record,” wondered the trio, and “what would this power do to you?”

In Pia’s case, she learns a lot about herself very quickly, and as the film delightfully accelerates through an entire lifetime, the magic vinyl sings along, “a single life is what you’re getting — and you should get it right.” Composed by Job under the moniker “Happy Camper,” the film’s beautiful and mysterious score informs the narrative through each skip of the music.

Rife with physical humor, stylized design, and wonderful detail (see if you can spot the homage to another classic time travel flick), “A Single Life” charms from start to finish. Likewise, with each jump of the needle we’re reminded, “time and again you’re trying to stall, but the ending is inevitable.”

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