"Can we trace the chain of events that leads to our own birth? Is our existence just coincidence? Do little things matter?"
These are the questions posed by the lovely animated short The Danish Poet.
F. and I took part in the Nashville Film Festival Saturday night and attended the Animated Shorts 1 program with the theory that sometimes the simplest things convey the deepest meaning.
While this theory did not hold true for the animated short, Atomic Banana (I know, how could a film about a chimp, a mad scientist and molecular transformation be anything but transcendant? - trust me, it was profoundly idiotic), it most certainly did for The Danish Poet (which, as you may know, won the Oscar this year for Best Animated Short).
The success of this film lies partly in the sweet simplicity of the story told with an innocent and gentle humor. On the surface there is a depressed poet, a muse, a rainy day, a clumsy cow, a faulty mail delivery system...a series of seemingly random events and coincidences that eventually lead to the very existence of the narrator. And we (the audience) are left wondering if coincidence even exists or if life is just a series of chance events.
Is it that every seemingly little thing that happens in life, happens for a reason, even when we may not be privy to the reason? Or are we all just floating around, being bumped and directed (or misdirected) by happenstance and coincidence? I don't know, maybe it doesn't matter - ultimately it comes to the same thing, free will or not, there are things which happen beyond our control that lead to and shape our lives. The Danish Poet was an enchanting reminder that life is not necessarily random.