…with a touch of Chris Ware. That’s the easiest way to sum up David O’Reilly‘s fantastic “Please Say Something,” which won the short film Golden Bear at Berlin this year. (In an interview, he compared it to “Breaking the Waves” and “Persona,” but pointed out “There’s also a nod to Funny Games.”
A blockily animated cat and mouse live together in a blustery, geometric, largely monochromatic future, communicating in subtitled squeaks. Despite these trappings, the film’s actually a half absurd, half genuinely sad story of the couple’s troubled domestic life, one that runs through and refreshes every cliche of emotional abuse and relationship ups and down in the book — when she leaves him, he doesn’t even look up from his laptop; later he collapses in grief at a coffee shop when she’s at the hospital. O’Reilly’s offered his work up online, and you can watch it below.