Entertainment

Sleepwalkers Will Know How This Animation Feels

Inspired by a García Lorca poem, Theodore Ushev’s 'Sonámbulo/The Sleepwalker' imagines the dreams of a sleepwalking gypsy through an abstract pattern sequence.

by Nathaniel Ainley
Jan 6 2017, 2:30pm

Screencaps and GIF, via

surreal world of possibility opens up in a new animated short inspired by a Federico García Lorca poem. The film’s director, Theodore Ushev, transformed a piece by the Spanish poet called "Romance Sonámbulo" ("sleepwalking romance") into a dynamic animated arrangement of shape and color. In a more literal sense, the film, Sonámbulo/The Sleepwalker is a creative exploration of a sleepwalker’s dreams. The poem itself describes the experience of a sleepwalking gypsy woman as she gradually becomes “surrounded by all of her dreams, memories, and desires,” according to the filmmaker in an interview with Vimeo.

Ushev recalls the abstract objects and geometric shapes of artists like Kandinsky, and Picasso, among others. The filmmaker works with a color palette quite similar to that of Miró, so a painterly influence on the film is almost immediately evident. A complex series of shapes and configurations are bent and morphed into motion as they briskly drift in and out of the frame. Although the animation finds a steady balance between spontaneity and meticulous detail, it still feels like it was precisely the animator's vision, unhinged. And maybe that's the point—Ushev tells Vimeo, "We cannot control the forms and the creatures that come into and out of our dreams…” Check out the film in its entirety below: 

Sonámbulo / The Sleepwalker by Theodore Ushev from Bonobostudio on Vimeo.

See more work by Theodore Ushev on his Vimeo page.

Related:

Filmmaker Reimagines His Youth in Beirut Through a Surreal Animated Short Film

An Italian Proto-Surrealist's Paintings Come to Life with Animation

Open Motion Capture Data Becomes a Surreal 3D Short Film