Supervenus [2014] MATURE CONTENT WARNING!

I just watched a short animation by a French guy called Frédéric Doazan. Some people may consider the content to be disturbing, and I mean it is disturbing, but that’s kind of the point. It’s a short animation about plastic surgery, here it is anyway:

Supervenus is a gripping, brilliantly satirical, slightly twisted film about a plastic surgery nightmare that has finally been released online this week after a hugely successful festival run. A cut-out girl is manipulated by god-like hands and subjected to all kinds of enhancements to a gruesome and darkly humorous end. [1]

In an interview Frédéric talks about searching the internet for plastic surgery disasters, and finding mostly celebrities before and after disasters – featuring distorted facial features, etc. He was fascinated with the whole thing and the idea for an animation was born. After experimenting in Photoshop Frédéric made Supervenus in After Effects and ended up with more than 1300 layers; “You learn to be organised…and zen! Supervenus was made without any funding or production. From start to finish, it took me 10 months to complete it. Besides time, the film cost me only 10 euros: I just bought a few surgical tools, and a small green cardboard to make a homemade green screen in order to record my hands.” [1] The only other person to work on the project was the sound designer – Vandy Roc. The film went on to be shown at over 130 festivals worldwide. The animation style actually reminded me a bit of Terry Gilliam’s cut-out style animation, here’s why actually:

Supervenus raises questions about the standard for beauty, societal pressures to conform and be seen as beautiful, what beauty means and how it affects us. How beauty can be corrupted and warped and ultimately lost in the pursuit of perfection and how people can disregard their own well-being to look more attractive.

Some people may say the violence and gore is gratuitious and over the top, but Frédéric explains that cosmetic surgery and breast implants do lead to health problems and even death, so its coming from reality. Surgery is a serious deal, getting cut open or having something sucked out or pumped in is the reality – and it shouldn’t be shied away from.

Psychologically, well, it must be so strange to wake up after a surgery and not recognize yourself. Are you still yourself? When you practice extreme cosmetic surgery, it’s like you were totally breaking your body away from your mind. [1]

When asked whether he thinks there is hope that the cosmetic industry and crazy beauty standards will change he says probably not, the industry is too big and already targets children at a very young age, maybe if people can stop being fooled by the consumerism way of life. Whether you agree with him or not, the film sparks discussion, and showcases or maybe highlights the real-world dangers of pursuing something with a disregard for your own well-being, if in a very shocking and gratuitous way.

http://12fps.net/ is a collaborative website featuring Paul Rodrigues, Sylvain Cappelletto and Frédéric Doazan.

The goal of 12fps is to make a series of 12 animated episodes. For each episode, we pick a theme (in turn) and each of us has to make one short and one very short film about this theme. We can use any animation techniques we want. [1]

The content may be a bit weird but its worth a look in my opinion and I like the way the short animations are professionally presented and held together in these little episodes of shorts, it makes them really accessible. They are up to episode 9 out of 12 on the website at the moment and i recommend checking it out when you want to kill a few minutes.

 

[1] – http://www.skwigly.co.uk/frederic-doazan/

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4 comments

  1. I enjoyed this article and loved the film. I would disagree with your use of the term gratuitous to describe elements of it, though. Gratuitous means “done without good reason”. The film maker used the gore to very good purpose and thus with good reason. Having said that, your writing was very thoughtful and interesting.

    Like

    • I don’t think it is gratuitous actually, that’s lazy writing on my part. I think at that point when I was writing I just liked the word and wanted to use it again without thinking about it too much. The first time I used gratuitous I said some people may say it’s gratuitous gore and tried to counter that with the film makers thoughts as well, which I meant to do. But the second time I probably meant shocking and very realistic way or something like that, rather than shocking and gratuitous way. Thankyou for your encouragement, I really like sharing these random animations that I find on here and it’s nice to know someone occasionally reads about this stuff!

      Liked by 1 person

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