Allergy To Originality

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Drew Christie is an American animator and illustrator based in Seattle. His idiosyncratic style has been snapped up and published in The New York Times, The Atlantic and Juxtapoz and his work as a filmmaker has been shown at the Sundance film festival. Christie’s films and music videos possess the same hand-drawn magic and vivid colour work as can be seen in his illustrations.

Allegory to Originality: A New York Times Op-Doc is a whimsical little film, punched through with a slacker philosophical style of humour. It’s about a man who goes to a movie theatre but gazing up at the films available and seeing only three-quels and adaptations he engages the sinister looking sales advisor in a conversation on the nature of originality. It’s a captivating short and a damning attack on not only the lack of original thinking in Hollywood but in the arts in general. The plot of the film is essentially a visual interpretation of the Wikipedia entries on plagiarism and originality as the sales advisor offers these up as defences against the cinema goer’s misery at the lack of originality in contemporary cinema. Maybe Drew Christie is simply offering Wikipedia as the soul destroyer of original thought in the known universe. Yup I can get on board with that way of thinking.

The animation is beautiful in all its hand-made glory. Drawn against a clear beige background, an onslaught of illustrations of everything from Woody Allen to Marcel Duchamp and Regina Spektor to Bob Dylan flood the screen, all in Christie’s distinct visual style. If you imagine an animated short made by a very precocious and maudlin 10 year old with his colouring pencils you kind of end up at Allergy to Originality. And I definitely mean that as a compliment.

It’s funny as well, in a very human kind of way. After the endless argument between our two protagonists on the nature of originality in the universe, the cinema goer yields and tries to buy a ticket for Men in Black 3, only to be told in a monotonous tone that it’s sold out. How very droll.

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