AFI FILM FEST 2021 REVIEW! What to make of Yoriko Mizushiri’s animated short Anxious Body? Running just under six minutes, its psychedelic imagery casts an impression while provoking vigorous head-scratching. Is it an exploration of human sexuality’s inability to truly break out of its body in contemporary society, a-la electronic musical artist Arca’s videos? Or is the film a study of geometry and its correlation with elastic organic matter? I’ll let the more adventurous, discerning viewers decide.
“A human finger pulls out a roll of tape…”
Okay, the fact that Mizushiri’s primary goal is to study the fusion of the organic and the inert is undeniable. A human finger pulls out a roll of tape, then extends along with it until it encounters a snake on the other end. Triangles morph into flesh. The sharpness of a dripping needle is juxtaposed against skin colliding against the skin. There is a tennis racket. In the end, it all meshes together. So yes – things extend, hit and stick, there are snakes, flesh and skin, constrained and tangled – the film is quite repressed, sexually.
All of the simplistic, brightly colored imagery throughout Anxious Body is complemented by a meditative, trippy score. Perhaps, like with some works of art, one need not think too deeply and just go along with the mercifully short ride.
Anxious Body screened at the 2021 AFI Film Fest.
"…a meditative, trippy score."