In life, these things are certain: If a balloon lands on a cactus, it will pop. If you point a fan at a house of cards, the cards will fall. If you happen to drop a piece of toast, it will inevitably land jam-side down. (OK, so that last one isn’t always a given—but it definitely feels that way.)
These are a few of the inevitabilities that graphic designer Florent Porta subverts in his new film, Preposterous. “I really like old cartoons, humor, and absurd things,” he says. Set against sherbet colored backdrops, his 50-second animated short is full of expectation-defying moments crafted in Cinema 4D. Instead of the balloon popping, the cactus crumbles; instead of the cards falling, the fan blows itself backwards; miraculously, the piece of toast lands on its dry side.
This exploration of the absurd results in a strangely unresolved tension. You watch as a cup of coffee scoots towards the edge of a table, only to remain perfectly balanced at the precipice. In another scene, a falling glass shatters the floor beneath it. It’s not unsatisfying, exactly, though it is slightly frustrating. “I’ve heard from people who felt tension and being infuriated about the scenes, but that wasn’t the purpose,” he says. In fact, it’s just the opposite. To Porta, absurdity is funny—not torturous. “It makes me laugh,” he says. “I’m not sadistic!”