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Andrey Shushkov’s Animation ‘Invention of Love’

(Post contains spoilers so I recommend watching first)

Andrey Shushkov creates animation using silhouette figures and scenery, shown in the screen shots in this blog from the animation ‘Invention of Love’. I initially researched this animator as his work is different from those that are more famous which use stop motion techniques and CGI to create 3D animations; whereas Shushkov used an imitation stop motion technique to create a CGI 2D animation. I love his silhouette idea as it is similar to the shadow play shows in Japan.

‘Invention of Love’

The first thing I noticed with this animation was the details in the scenes such as the setting (windows and backdrops) as these set the scene. And as the face is quite small with no eyes, it is difficult to determine emotion from the features, instead I have to look at the stance of the characters and their body language.

It’s possible that Shushkov wanted to show how life isn’t simple, sometimes awful things happen that you couldn’t have predicted and that you can’t help. I think this because, in the animation, the wife of an inventor dies suddenly after inhaling too much dust from the new, mechanical world she moved with her husband to for his work. Currently in the world illnesses such as cancer are a lot more widely known about than they used to be. This could have contributed to the ideas and story in this animation. Furthermore, a family member to someone with cancer is physically incapable of making them better, there is nothing they can do buy ensure their relative gets the medical help they need. In the animation, the husband is too late to save his wife, so there is nothing he could do either.

Sushkov’s animation leaves you feeling like the story should continue, it shouldn’t just end after the inventor tries, and fails, to build his beloved wife as a machine. The colours in the background influence the emotions I felt through out the animation. At the start there were calming blues. However, this changes to a feeling of isolation, despair and sadness when the woman realizes she is only surrounded by man made objects, nothing natural. The colours in the animation change to suit this as they become murky, mustard, yellow; the colour of pollution and poisonous atmosphere (foreshadowing the woman’s death due to this pollution). By the end of the animation the colours were faded, like old paper, an off white colour reflecting the crumbling hopes and dreams of the man, with a feeling more of despair than sadness. The inventor is incapable of recreating the love he lost like he couldn’t replace the dying flower the wife treasured for a mechanical one that she hated. I suppose this is why the title of the animation is ‘Invention of Love’ because by the end the lonely man will try anything to bring back the love he’s lost; even if it is impossible.

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