NXT creatives

Alice Saey

HEAR: Haute école des arts du Rhin

He who ate the eye of a fish

‘He who ate the eye of a fish’ traces the surrealist journey of an anonymous character who bites off more than he can chew. When he inadvertently eats something that disagrees with him, his perception is turned upside down thrusting him into a world somewhere between air and water; a silent world crowded with sounds. The film is freely inspired by the script of the same name written as part of the Chiffres collection by avant-garde Spanish writer Ramòn Gòmez de la Serna in 1928. The direction was motivated by the inherently silent nature of the script, and the underlying ambiguity of a story which could have been adapted in the tradition of surrealist cinema. The film is entirely hand-drawn in Indian ink, serving the focus essentially on the image and soundtrack relationship: the central narrative element of this short film. The pure yet raw animation technique and the multi-layered experimental soundtrack blend and build together around the unspoken narrative of the 12-sentence text; thus giving the piece its first ever audiovisual interpretation in a contemporary context. Indeed, had Ramòn Gòmez de la Serna not ended his collaboration with Luis Bunuel, Chiffres might have superseded “Un Chien andalou" as the first ever surrealist film. Although the writer’s scripts were never adapted for the screen, they were published in 1930 in La Revue du Cinéma, only to be forgotten.