Negative Space

Negative Space is an Oscar-nominated stop motion short film that’s played in more than 80 festivals and has won 25 prizes so far. Via Variety:

“Negative Space,” co-directed by Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata, is an adaptation of the poem by Ron Koertge. The poem’s tale about a boy who connects with his father by learning to pack a suitcase touched each of the filmmakers in different ways.

For Kuwahata, it was especially personal. “As an airline pilot, my father traveled often when I was growing up. I don’t really remember things like trips to the zoo or theme parks, but the image of him packing a crisp, white shirt is burned in my memory,” she recalls. “I remember my dad adjusting his watch precisely before leaving the house and I remember the packing list that he pinned to the wall of his study. My most vivid childhood memories are connected with objects, textures, and ordinary routines.”

The connection was less specifically tied to packing for Porter, but was no less significant. “The text spoke honestly to me about the way parents and children often ritualize connection,” he explains. “We’ve heard people refer to the father-son relationship in ‘Negative Space’ as cold or strange, and maybe it is by some standards, but that doesn’t negate the importance of the connection to the main character. ‘Negative Space’ made me consider my own relationships and the small things that represent a big part of those connections.”

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