When Rhode Island School of Design graduate Michael Langan, of Langan Films, was approached by the Venice Film Festival organizers to create something new and have it debut at the world-renowned fest, he naturally jumped at the chance. The resulting animation, “Heliotropes,” was inspired by a Brian Christian poem and combines stop motion with live action to answer the writer’s riddle – “plants need it biologically, and humans need it psychologically,” what common ground do you suppose he’s picked up on? Have a look below, at his friend Langan’s adaptation, and we’ll see after the jump which penny drops!
You’ll have guessed the parallel fleshed out in the video’s 3-minute span refers to light, a sunflower’s source of life, and one which we’re quick to recognize as such because of, well, basic high school biology. But Langan, taking his cue from the observant poet, casts sunlight as a lead, just as vital a protagonist in our human existence, even though we like to delude ourselves with artificial beams from various man-made cameos – lamps and neon signs, the cheap being’s 24-hour suns. With a bird’s eye view of the revolving Earth, the director points out we’re just as hard-wired to track the sun like any heliotrope – only we enlist complicated mechanisms to achieve it.