- Vassilis Kroustallis
A highly potent story of outcasts ordered to be happy. Watch the brilliant short How Are You Today? by Sophie Markatatos.
In a fucked up world, two opposite characters meet.
The film can be effectively described as a youthful, urban and highly dramatic version of Santiago 'Bou' Grasso's El Empleo, with a second character added to share the capitalist work burden.
Character design and movement fits perfectly with the inherent tendency of animation to shrink, suppress, eliminate - the theme of How Are You Today?
Constant figure of drinks leisurely drunk with straws here functions as a threat to the main character, and canned phone messages will do nothing to alleviate its suffering. The deeply saturated colors work as menace intensifiers, while a bully afraid of closed spaces provides the main dramatic arc - in a world where the only oral means of communication are beeps and noises. Nothing of good will happen in the end (which matches the opening birth shot of an entrance with a closing shot of extinction) in this invigorating, potent animation film.
How Are You Today? is Markatatos' Royal College of Art graduation thesis; it was accepted into more than 30 animation festivals worldwide, winning awards Animated Dreams (Estonia), Sommets du Cinéma d'Animation (Canada) and 1st Honorary Mention for a Greek Animated Film (ASIFA Hellas competition 2017).
The film had already been included in our 2016 poll for the Best Animation Shorts. Watch also her In Between film (2012).