God I Need a Girlfriend
Directed by Stefan Janoski and Foster Huntington | Review by Moumita Deb
[dropcap]G[/dropcap]od I Need a Girlfriend is a brilliant portrayal of a brutal mockery of the controversial biblical myths on the creation of humanity. These myths have become deeply embedded in the minds of naïve victims who ironically fail to realize their futility and succumb to the falsehood and hypocrisy of such satirical religious hypothesis. Foster Huntington is no stranger to religious iconography as evidenced by this film ‘God I Need A Girlfriend’, a dark and pungent satire on the Abrahamic creation myth.
This touching short film elaborates on the story behind Stefan Janoski’s latest sculpture. He was brave enough to think about an image of a guy with his rib pulled out and presenting it to God, but the name ‘God I need a girlfriend’ ironically appears to be really funny.
It was great to see the visions of his imagination brought to life in such an artistic and skilled way. The film is the perfect synthesis and a display of a unique combination of Janoski’s visual, musical and comedic acumen. He takes a decidedly unusual path from script to screen, but then again, aren’t all the creation myths equally unusual? The silence strongly intensifies the protagonist’s biting loneliness, overcast with an anguish of being deprived of feminine companionship which eventually gives vent to such atrocious attempts to beget a wife, culminating in a tragic consequence. The director terrifyingly excels at providing cathartic relief to the viewers in bringing the salvation of the loner through his horrifying self-assault.
This film is relatively free of the gag-inducing, moral-majority-pleasing, family values guff that blights many animated fictions. Preoccupied with tolerance and acceptance, its heart is definitely in the right place, with the only poignant note being the heart-wrenching ending. It is to be viewed as an indelible lesson of damnation for all humanity in view of the natural order of things. And therein lays the success of the film.
It’s an eerily detailed puppet animation about the life’s unspoken miseries. It fuses eloquently with the hell of loneliness in this strange miniature masterpiece. Depressed and small, cowed down, he is numbed and alienated from the society and sinks more and more deeply into his mundane world of devouring loneliness. The film honestly doesn’t have to exert itself to be strange, although everything about it is unforgettable, skin-crawlingly strange, especially the banal boringness of dull things, created in this puppetry universe. The plot makes it as riveting as any thriller. And the structure brilliantly responds to the phenomenon of the bleak room itself: flavorless, dull, yet liberating and delicious in its lack of identity.
Its uniqueness is intensified through dealing with the mysterious prison of identity and consciousness, the need to be imprisoned in the vicinity of love, and the sickening pain of unrequited passion that reveals this hope to have been an illusion. It’s after all a tiny story but with a world-changing heft. The puppet characters in many other films are sprightlier. They exist mainly to amuse. The typecast character in “God I need a girlfriend” is alarmingly unsettled. His plight makes you think about the 21st-century loneliness, despair and alienation— subjects that would be unpalatable if his characters were not so compassionately scripted and with such dry humor.
This movie is as good for its story and message as for its animation. It reminds us, as all good animation does, that cartoons can create a kind of life that is more archetypal and more liberating than images that are weighed down by live actors. The film is an undebatable snapshot into a relatable awkward and uncertain age which is made unique and engaging through its great script and animation. The director triumphs in building a meaningful connection between the viewer and the animation, which is not easy to achieve when a film’s running time is only four minutes thirty-two seconds.
Moumita is a Kolkata based independent filmmaker and film critic. She holds a post- graduation degree in English literature from Jadavpur University. Reading novels of a wide range of authors of all genres from classic to contemporary has always been Moumita’s passion and calling. She also takes a strong liking in playing the Spanish guitar & has participated in quite a few concerts. Moumita has done her certification course in Cinematography, Video Editing and Filmmaking.