Uncanny Valley

One paradox of images is that they hold back what they show, and keep at a distance, what they bring close. At the same time, the canvas or screen on which they appear seems like a shield offering protection from what is shown. As pictures, they guarantee a distance between the present of perception and the elsewhere of the recording. This seems even more applicable to a film such as Uncanny Valley, which deals with World War I—an event that is already beyond something that can be remembered, and now only plays out in historical memory. When it wants to be called to mind again, then as depiction—as representation, which in the image, can’t help but depict its distance to what is shown. 

Paul Wenninger traces the arc of representational history to representation-critical parable: he straddles the Uncanny Valley with motifs from found footage material from World War I, which he connects to the actors’ performances, to bring them into the image again using techniques from animation and then, with a diorama, to land in a museum-like ambiance. What the film documents is a parable about the difficulty of making present what one wants to show: in this film, the soldiers’ fear and wounds also applies to the distance, which is injured here, in order to gapingly gaze in the semblance of illusion. The stop-motion aesthetics jiggles at the seamless course of images, making the representation stutter: the body language follows the media’s staccato, which intrudes in the dance to perforate the movements, punch holes through the appearance of humanity. What is then shown is a distance, which affects us deeply, the impossibility of backing away, an iconoclastic dance. 

(Andreas Spiegl)


© Kabinett ad. Co, KGP Filmproduktion, Films de Force Majeure


World premiere: Anneçy Animation Film Festival 2015 (Annecy, France)



2 Days Animation Festival (Vienna, Austria) 

Best Austrian Animation

Public Award


Anneçy Animation Film Festival (Annecy, France)
FILMETS - Badalona Film Festival (Badalona, Spain)
ANIMA (Brüssel, Belgium)
Les Sommets du cinéma d'animation (Montreal, Canada)
New Chitose Airport International Animation Festival (Hokkaido, Japan)
Courts Devant (Paris, France)
Seville European Film Festival (Sevilla, Spain)
Uppsala Kortfilmfestival (Uppsala, Sweden)
Two Days Animation Festival (Wien, Austria)
ReAnimania IAFFY (Yerevan, Armenia)

Tampere Film Festival (Tampere, Finnland)
Reporters de Scienses Marseille (Marseille, France)
RISC - International Science & Film Festival (Marseille, France)
IndieCork (Cork, Ireland) 
PannOpticum - Internationales Figurentheaterfestival (Neusiedl am See, Austria)
Animated Spirits Film Festivals (Tokio, Japan)
Animafest Zagreb (Zagreb, Croatia)
NexT International Film Festival (Bucharest, Romania)
Busan International Short Film Festival (Busan, South Korea)
FIFDH Paris: International Human Rights Film Festival (Paris, France)
Int. Experimental Film Festival 
Two Days Animation Festival (Wien, Austria)