Filmmaker Lisa Yu depicts a simple domestic tableau – a woman cooking dinner for her man – as a bizarre, sensual freakshow. She describes her film as “scenes from a passion play,” and relates that the materials used are “stop-motion animated clay, hair and Jell-O.”
The piece opens inside what looks like a body, maybe the stomach. Odd, squeamish images warp by until we’re at a dinner table, with a plate of beans, veggies and green jello set out. The cook is a little nude claymation woman. Stray hairs collect themselves in the corners, cover the floor, creating a sea of tangly black hair sweeping across the kitchen. Then when a man does appear, it gets really strange. The male and female fingurines melt and morph, and appetite for food becomes appetite for sex. If this ticklish little film is about anything, it is pure, primal appetite.
The multi-award-winning “Vessel Wrestling” has little in the way of narrative, but boasts an abundance of striking imagery throughout. Yu is an animation talent to watch.