SXSW FILM FESTIVAL 2021 REVIEW! Maggie Brennan had her hands all over Our Bed is Green, quite literally. She directed, wrote, animated, did the sound design, and scored (with one exception) the animated short. So, does all her dedication and hard work pay off or not?
Realm is a virtual reality center that allows one’s dreams to come true for 30 minutes at a time. A young woman, Cecily, goes there and lives out her fantasy of dancing at a nightclub with a specific person. Afterwards, the overwhelming demands of real life come about to make her face reality.
Considering the film is barely over 7 minutes long, to say more would rob the story of its power and intended emotional impact. The point of Our Bed is Green, only revealed in the last minute, literally, is bittersweet, but it says so much about the truths one chooses to admit to themselves, not to mention their closest friends and family. This theme does not feel forced or awkward, thanks to the filmmaker’s singular vision and well-crafted characterizations. Instead, it pulls at the heartstrings in a relatable, sad way.
“…Cecily…lives out her fantasy of dancing at a nightclub with a specific person.”
The animation is striking, unlike anything else out there. The images have a sort of chalk drawing look to them, and they move in a way that is both natural and unrealistic at the same time. That is not a criticism, as the unique character designs mesh beautifully with the amazing backgrounds that are lit in a very neon disco way. This captures the energy of Cecily’s desires and fantasies in a visually arresting way.
The score is boisterous and lively. Once reality sets in, the hard-driving beats give way to something more melancholy, and it works wonderfully. Celebrated techno artist Via App contributed a track to the movie. It’s infectious and very danceable, turning what’s in Cecily’s heart into an audible tune that helps get the viewers to sympathize with her.
Our Bed is Green moves quickly and packs quite a punch. While the lack of an actual resolution might frustrate some viewers, wanting such is to dismiss the production’s point. It’s dramatic, bittersweet, and engaging, exactly as Brennan intended.
Our Bed is Green screened at the 2021 SXSW Film Festival.
"…the animation is striking..."