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The Machine (2010)

animation
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Directed by Rob Shaw
Animated by Rob Shaw and Sarah Hulin (Bent Image Lab animation studio)

The Machine is a story about a mechanical being built and released into the world by a bored human. Like a malevolent Pinnochio, greedy with power, the Machine takes everything he finds, destroying obstacles and people along the way. From a lowly farmer to a mighty king, the machine asserts his superiority and power over everyone he encounters. The film is a stop-motion animation using puppets, with backgrounds and cut shots of moving parts designed to appear like the interior workings of a nickel slot machine.

This short film is highly allegorical and carries various potential warnings about developments in today’s world – the risks posed by giving machines too much power (drone warfare, autonomous killing machines, the increasing automation of everyday life and functions). The consequences are borne by humans and the planet we inhabit. Andrea Schuch provides the nicely stylised voiceover. The composition was done in Aftereffects.