Costa Rican artist Eduardo Brenes Angulo describes himself as an “artist displaced in time looking for new spheres of survival.” Does that sound a little out there? Wait until you watch this week’s short.
Malverde is a psychedelic romp in black and white through a post-apocalyptic urban landscape broken up into three chapters: El Hexagono, El Sueño and La Caída y Ascención. The film’s main character is a jester-like elf who cares only about himself; he steals, goes to peep shows, and takes a midday nap on a hammock. His leisurely outlaw lifestyle is interrupted by a dream: two naked giants take over the city with the intention of eating him and everyone else in it. As you’ve probably already gathered, this short does not have some annoying plot line to distract you from the cool visuals.
Brenes and frequent collaborator Grettel Monge prefer hand drawings to glossy, synthetic pixels, which makes the whole thing even more exciting to watch – the images literally vibrate as the characters jump, punch, and chew their way through buildings. There are lots of details in the background and loads of shading, giving the frame broadness and depth. It kind of looks an M.C. Escher drawing brought to life, but darker, more sinister, and weirder, if that’s even possible.
A more recent work titled Impronta morphs nature and objects in order to populate a world with organisms desperate to survive, sacrificing their cells and flesh in the process. Fish are made of plastic bottles and insects have metal hooks for feet. There are images representing our current consumptive civilization, one that is intent on saving itself by replacing our dying, decaying, and useless selves with technology.
Brenes studied animation and printmaking at UNAM and now runs Rompeboca Estudio in his native San José.