Short Animation | English | USA - UK
Production Status: In Development
Genre: Experimental Animation
Tagline: Beyond lust, beyond fear, beyond believable!
Logline: Retelling the ancient Greek myth of Daphne and Apollo, this is the story of extraordinary young beauty, Daphne who falls prey to a predator, Apollo. She is captured and forced to submit to his sexual assault. After her father, Ladon comes to rescue her, he leaves both her and her attacker in an unimaginable place.
Writer/Director: Kenan Marlin
Producer: Carol Bidault de l'Isle
Countries of production: USA
Year of production: 2021
Duration (in minutes): 7 minutes
FINANCING IN PLACE: 65% (In Equity and Tax incentives)
About the Writer/Director: Kenan Marlin is a sculptor, graphic artist working in both 2D and 3D environments as a Digital Matte Artist creating complex graphic elements, as well as matte paintings. He provides graphic concepting, elements,
matte paintings, sculpture as well as giclée posters.
SUBVISION is a richly colored short animated film that explores the nightmarish qualities implied in the ancient Greek mythic encounter of Daphne and Apollo. SUBVISION reveals the disturbing details laden within the myth, exposing the underpinnings of our own modern-day questions of power, sex, and gender.
Wood nymph Daphne ever sensitive to the needs of the forest is tending to a woodland stream that has become clogged with debris. In the dark shadowy recesses of the surrounding thicket of trees, a shadowy wolf has picked up and followed Daphne's scent and is now lurking in the darkness watching her every move with a pang of intense hunger. The intensity of the wolf's gaze triggers the hairs on the back of Daphne's neck. Her heart suddenly beats faster as Daphne senses she's being stalked. She quickly eyes the surrounding area looking for the danger and an opposing escape route.
The wolf bursts from the shadows, Daphne instantly makes a mad dash into the forest. Amongst the whipping branches suddenly the wolf is in front of her blocking her path. Daphne changes her course but is again blocked. She changes direction again and yet again then realizes it is a pack and that she is trapped.
Daphne hears the snap of twigs behind her, turning in fear she is now confronted by a young Apollo. Apollo is tall with a glowing intensity and scares the wolves away. She sees a dark mask of shadow across his eyes with the same hungry glimmer as that of the wolves. Apollo approaches with a sense of confidence in his power and control over her as Daphne instinctively slowly backs away. Apollo lunges grabbing Daphne by the neck eyes glowing he stares down piercing the veil of Daphne's last resistance. Apollo slowly forces Daphne down to her knees and wraps her eyes in a blindfold. Apollo runs his hands down Daphne's body slowing over her breasts before continuing down, the lower his hand goes the more Daphne trembles in fear a scream building within her heart. As Apollo's hand descends further the scream bursts forth. The sound screeches in a palpable visceral supplicating echo.
Daphne's father, Ladon hears the cry and summons his powers, emitting a light burst through the forest. Upon striking the two, Daphne metamorphoses, nails protruding through the blindfold from her eyes, a knife penetrating outward from her nose, Apollo lifts her up by her ribs. Daphne's arms and lower extremities of flesh slough off exposing her spinal nerves sprouting out forming roots, the back of her head crumbles, branches and leaves grow out from her egg-like skull. Apollo is horrified, stands back but stumbles as his own legs break off, the stumps twist to form surgical handles, his arms melt from his body leaving impotent flippers.
It is a scene of grotesque horror. Apollo's jaw slowly drops in shock and a cicada slips out of his mouth circling the scene rising up threading its way among the laurel branches growing from Daphne's head disappearing into the darkness of the forest.
SUBVISION is an experimental animated short that retells the tragic story of Apollo and Daphne through a combination of 2D and 3D in the aesthetic of a 70s blacklight poster. The visual realization of characters is unique as they derive from the artist’s voice as a sculptor of surreal beings, (think Hieronymus Bosch meets Ed Kienholz). The sculptures became posters with a quality born of the 70s and the artist’s childhood.
SUBVISION is derived from a poster of Apollo and Daphne with Dom/Sub undertones. It was the submissive qualities of Daphne that inspired the Apollo/Daphne/tragedy connection.
This is an ancient myth told with a view to our modern Me Too awakening as the story of a young woman hunted down and assaulted by a man and then further victimized by her so-called protector.
In the beginning, a woman walks alone in the forest and is stalked, hunted, and finally confronted by a pack of wolves. The scenes slowly build the tension and danger utilizing odd perspective, unusual motion, and 2D vs 3D juxtapositions. All audio throughout is experimental music in the vein of Scott Walker’s final albums.
Ultimately there is an encounter between a man (transformed from a wolf) and the woman. It is confrontational and intimate and intense. The scene evokes a Dom/Sub-like quiet violence using close up 2D and 3D action.
The climax scene begins at the woman’s breaking point with a scream conveyed in sound effects sending the camera bolting quickly out through the woods to a stream and her father a river God. Through visual effects his aid reaches her and additional effects signal a transformation, the woman is grotesquely mutated into a Laurel tree and the final scene ends in a quiet tragic/poetic visual trail-off.