“Comfortable Position” is an Experimental Delight

Made by students aged 8 to 12 years old from the Tashkent International School in Uzbekistan, Comfortable Position builds on a long history of experimental animation in cinema. The weird, unsettling, and beautiful results could easily be shown right alongside work from influential Czech animator Jan Svankmajer.

"Comfortable Position" still image
Hypnotized! from Comfortable Position

It’s refreshing to see kids willing to utilize an abstract, non-linear framework to tell a story. The film’s theme concerns sleep and dreams, and its young filmmakers smartly embraced the illogic of human imagination under the spell of the dozing brain. A variety of animation styles converge to weave a phantasmic landscape of dark images, narrated by a young boy whose voice takes on the persona of a hypnotist lulling us into slumber.

Most Western animation often tends to be very plotty or funny, most often created as entertainment, while the history of animation from areas like Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union is packed with wildly experimental films. The difference in styles, in part, is because of commercial versus artistic aims. Cross-pollination and tension between these two styles of filmmaking has only resulted in better films, as we’ve gotten commercial animated features that embrace experimental styles (Disney’s Fantasia, 1940), and experimental films that embrace the framework of narrative (Jan Svankmajer’s Alice, 1989).

It’s safe to say that Comfortable Position mostly ignores this highfalutin debate, and simply demonstrates the joy of young filmmakers who have unleashed their wild creativity.

Be sure to see it as part of our program Shorts By Kids: 7+.