Sunday, 25 March 2012

Damian Nenow "Paths of Hate" (2010)

I am in a privileged position with my blog. I only write about films I like. Yet Paths of Hate from Polish film-maker Damian Nenow is unlike any animated film I've ever reviewed. Although there is a theme, gone are the niceties of plot or character development. Instead we get full throttle, full on violence in opposing WW2 aircraft as two indomitable pilots fight it out over an alpine landscape in a fight to the death. In full gory detail we see the blood, the mechanism of warfare as fuel and ammunition, not to mention luck, run out and our demon men are driven to fight it out on the land itself. Indeed the film is about the demons that dominate our souls, never sated of war. As I have said then, an all action film though we never truly engage with the two men, the photograph of woman in the cockpit a mere token of their humanity. However Paths of Hate is a film that engages the eye, and one cannot be without admiration for the detail, of the cockpit for instance, or the demonic faces as all elements of humanity crack through the veneer. Personally it is a little long for me and the violence palls though it is comic book violence, never unsettling. Compensating is the dramatic, stunning spectacle from beginning to crimson end. Damian graduated from Lodz Film School and works for Platige. He has a staggering amount of ability and I look forward to seeing other work of his in the future.


Max said...

I cannot begin to guess the technique used, the attention to detail, photorealism and fluidity of the animation is just mindblowing. Although it is my understanding that in real life the relatively impersonal nature of dogfighting - and most airborne warfare - actually made it easier for pilots to not think of their targets as human beings most of the time, I think this short does a great job at illustrating what stands at the opposite end of recognizing that any battlefield has mostly just ordinary people on either of its sides.

Max said... thing I forgot to mention - I find the musical score quite fitting the fast action and the theme, but to be honest what I hear in my head watching the short is Disturbed's "The Game"; entirely different theme, lyrics and pacing, but the unshackled madness and concentrated raw energy of that song dwarfs the short's actual soundtrack, and I think it fits the demon's clash much better... :)

Ian Lumsden said...

Hi Max,

I've just watched the short again. I believe I did not give the director enough credit for the moments he built into the action that actually slow down the pace, rendering everything less frenetic, almost balletic. One of the prices I pay for shoddy research and quick viewing.