Returning to Short of the Week with the follow-up to his 2012 short 38-39º, Kangmin Kim serves up another surreal slice of stop-motion with SXSW award winner Jeom. The unusual story of a father and son connected through identical birthmarks on their butt, Kim builds a bizarre but engaging narrative, backed up with his unmistakable aesthetic.
Narratively, compared with his his two previous two shorts 38-39º and Deer Flower, there doesn’t feel as much here to sink your teeth into. A brief and fast-flowing film, where Jeom does resonate however is through its themes of genetic inheritance.
With 38-39º focused on the relationship between Kim and his father, Jeom takes a similar path by looking at the director’s own relationship with his son. With this fatherly perspective applied to his storytelling, this isn’t so much a short looking at what Kim has inherited from his father, but more about what he will pass on to his son.
While the narrative here revolves around a physical trait passed from one generation to the next, for me the great takeaway here is more surrounding the impact a parent has on their child’s life and the stress that comes with this. Much has been written about how parents shape their children’s lives, but experiencing it and worrying about it with your own child really provokes some deeper thought and it’s these concerns that really feel like the driving force behind Kim’s film
Alongside the surprisingly impactful narrative of Jeom, it’s hard to talk about Kim’s work without touching on that trademark style of his. As with his previous work, this latest short is truly stunning in the visuals department and you know you’re watching the work of a true auteur when they can make the inside of an ass feel so magical (that’s a sentence I wasn’t expecting to write today!)
Revealing to S/W that one of the driving factor behind creating this film was a desire to “figure out whether I love animation or not through the production process”, we really hope in creating Jeom Kim was able to find a little satisfaction through the creative process and he continues to make films in his own distinct fashion.