Yes-People / Já-Fólkið (2020, Short)
Dir: Gísli Darri Halldórsson
Who are the ‘Yes-People’?
They’re residents of the same apartment building in Iceland, whose lives intersect.
Nothing big, but it’s lots of brief snippets, almost vignettes, of moments in their daily lives. Everything verbal is just variants of the word ‘yes’, essentially they’re ‘Grooting’ it, adding inference through tone, expression and context.
Why don’t they say anything else?
Apparently, the idea was borne from the writer/director explaining to a friend how expressive ‘Já’ is. While you’d think that limits the film’s ability to go deep or meaningful, there’s a lot of subtext. The film touches on some mature subject matter, including overheard intimacy, and a perceived struggle with alcoholism, as well as conveying a sense of frustration that may resonate particularly well this year.
How is it animated?
I’m pretty sure it’s computer-animated, though the character style looks like stop motion. They have simple shapes and textures that looked a little like plasticine to me at first, and for a moment had me wondering if it was. It’s charming enough, though not iconic or cute in any way that’ll have a lasting cultural legacy.
Where is it available to watch?
It’s on Vimeo and YouTube, so easily available. It’s only about 8 minutes long, and while not the best Oscar-nominated short of the year, it’s worth watching to get an idea of the range of contenders.
Yes-People is nominated for ‘Best Animated Short Film’ at the Academy Awards, and though I’ve not seen all the nominees yet, I don’t think it’ll win. That’s not to say it’s not good, but it feels like others have more substance that will help them stick in voters minds and get the votes, this is charming enough but forgettable.