August 13, 2013

Watch Jonathan Ng's Crouching Love, Hidden Breakup Short 'Requiem for Romance'

RequiemForRomanceAnyone who's ever suffered through the heartache that comes from a romantic breakup knows that there are a plethora of songs which suddenly seem to speak to your fractured emotional state, merging the musician's own experiences of a love lost with your own. In Montreal-based filmmaker Jonathan Ng's beautifully expressive kung fu animation Requiem for Romance, he blends a personal story of heartbreak with a commentary on attitudes towards art within contemporary Chinese society by setting the emotional action of a phone call break up within feudal China. Click through to experience the raw emotion.

Working part-time over the course of around 18 months in between gigs as a freelance animator, Ng created his time-lapse water ink backgrounds live under his Red camera on various paper stocks -- apparently sky and fire elements work best on smooth paper, while 'toothy' stock is the domain of architecture and forest scenes.

Painting needed to be achieved 'indirectly' so as to not capture his hands or brushes on camera; the wet colours manipulated in relation to the screen direction set out in detailed storyboards. With the moving ink backgrounds shot, Ng then hand-animated his duelling lovers over the top, frame by frame using a Wacom Cintiq.

The resulting film, with its phone line quality conversation, feels simultaneously intimately personal and universal. Whilst the specifics of the breakup may differ from your own experiences, there's no denying the commonality of feeling within Requiem for Romance, as you find yourself identifying with the role of dumper or dumpee.

I was pleased to discover that this isn't the last we've seen of Ng's water ink animations. In an interview with Con Men, Ng revealed that he's currently working on his debut feature -- the legend of a scarred hero who can only escape his pain through battle until he falls for a female warrior -- which will employ similar production techniques.

So, could you relate? Did the tensions between being an artist and a breadwinner speak to you or was it the visuals that kept you watching? Let us know in the comments.

Link: Jonathan Ng

[via Short of the Week]

Your Comment

8 Comments

This was one of the most interesting animated films I've seen recently besides Crulic-The Path to Beyond. Watching it on the big-screen had quite an impact on me and when I watched it online, I felt it wasn't doing justice to the work. However, it's great that the full film is now available for everyone to experience the phenomenal mood it creates. I will definitely look for Jonathan's upcoming projects. A great artist to follow.

August 14, 2013

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Javed

Thanks for all the comments and feedback. @Javed, of course everything on the big screen looks and feels better, but that format's accessibility is limited for short films. The online response has been absolutely amazing! @Simon, glad there's something for everyone to relate to. @ConMen thanks again for the interview. I'm back to the drawing board so look out for the next one!

August 15, 2013

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Man... this guy has talent in spades. Looking forward immensely to his next stuff!

August 14, 2013

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I liked the animation, but mostly it was the actors performance that blew me away! I would think anyone can relate to that. Great idea!

August 14, 2013

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Thanks for the shout out to Con Men, I appreciate it!

It was a great experience to watch the film on the big screen!

August 14, 2013

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That was a fantastic work by Jonathan. Thanks for posting this, nfs.

I was relating to the emotional conversation (being a 'dumpee' before), and the visual served to greatly enhance the context. And the kung fu animation was a treat. I'm sure some real life choreography was consulted.

Overall, it's a great marriage of audio visual fest. (the hint of irony is intentiona).

August 15, 2013

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J Toha

That was a fantastic work by Jonathan. Thanks for posting this, nfs.

I was relating to the emotional conversation (being a 'dumpee' before), and the visual served to greatly enhance the context. And the kung fu animation was a treat. I'm sure some real life choreography was consulted.

Overall, it's a great marriage of audio visual fest. (the hint of irony is intentional).

August 15, 2013

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J Toha

Great short, gave me one of those moments when I tuned out to everything else going on in the internet and was engrossed in the film.

I particularly like how he used feudal China for the visuals to express the emotions of the conversation.

August 16, 2013

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Zeb Parkes