Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Fantastic in the Fine Arts: Porcelain Unicorn

Back in 2010, Philips sponsored a contest for consumers to create short films, all with the same six lines of dialogue.  The winning film, directed by Keegan Wilcox, was entitled "Porcelain Unicorn," and manages to convey beauty, terror, heartbreak, and redemption in just three minutes.  Take a look:

Philips has posted the other entries on YouTube as well, and it's fascinating how others have used scifi/fantasy elements, even apart from the inclusion of the unicorn as one of the main lines of dialogue.

One of the other entries that I found fascinating was "The Gift," directed by Erik Rinsch.  Set in Moscow in winter, the snow is beautiful and bleak, emphasizing the sparseness of the dialogue:

What I find fascinating is how differently the unicorn appears in each of these two entries.  In one, it's an actual unicorn figure, while in the other, it seems to be more metaphorical, a code name, perhaps, for some sort of weapon.  Or maybe not--maybe it still is an actual unicorn, but the world isn't a fit place for it to live.

It seems to me that the choice of "unicorn" as the central noun in the script is key in opening up myriad possibilities for filmmakers, giving them license to be realistic or imaginative, historical or futuristic.  In short, it's the perfect choice.