Topic: Brickfilm of the Week: The River (April 10, 2015)
This week’s Brickfilm of the Week is The River by Nikolas Jaeger.
The River follows the story of a man who finds himself travelling down a river to an unknown destination. It was made in 2009 by Nikolas Jaeger for the Space, Time and Reality Contest hosted on Bricks in Motion. It won first place, and was also nominated for six Bricks in Motion Awards, winning all but two of them. Nikolas Jaeger, known as Night Owl, was a member of Brickfilms.com and Bricks in Motion and made other memorable films including Night of the Tater, Bill Carney’s Body and Hastings. The River is his last film.
SPOILERY DISCUSSION BELOW!
Most brickfilms are fairly straightforward in their storytelling. Sure, some brickfilms may have some twists or turns or dramatic reveals, but the story is ultimately simple and easy to follow. Nikolas Jaeger’s The River takes a different storytelling approach. Even after multiple viewings the story may not be clear, and that’s okay. It’s a story that is more metaphor than narrative, told mostly through haunting images and selective sound. A hallmark of Nikolas Jaeger’s style is the visual texture of his films: he avoided the clean digital look many others sought at the time, and instead pursued a grainy, muted look that alternated between intimate, warm yellows and cold, distant greens. Thanks to his frequent use of soft focus, his shots often feel very deep, such as the forest shot at 1:57 and the river shot at 5:34. Often the sharp, geometric edges of LEGO blur and feel less plastic and more alive.
What are your thoughts on The River? What did you like about it? What do you think of the use of color, texture and focus to achieve a look atypical of most brickfilms? Did you have a favorite moment?