eXceptional eXample

Chloe with the letter XI imagine today is the most dreaded day of the Blogging from A to Z challenge – the infamous letter X.  There just aren’t that many words out there that start with X, and most of the ones that do are pretty strange: xenolith, xylograph, xanthic.  If today were Willy-nilly Wednesday, I’d just grab one of these weirdos and start babbling about them.  But it’s Film Friday, and since I couldn’t find a short film that started with X, I’m going to have to cheat a little (don’t judge, I’m sure lots of a-z bloggers got creative today!).  So my “X word” is eXceptional, and today’s short film is Sebastian’s Voodoo, which definitely lives up to that description.  It’s only four and a half minutes long, so if you haven’t seen it yet, give it a watch:

As you can see, in addition to being eXceptional, the voodoo dolls have X’s for their eyes and hearts - another connection with today’s letter, so I didn’t cheat too much.
 
Anyway, I first saw this short at the Charleston International Film Festival a few years ago, and I was blown away by it.  I actually teared up, which feels a little silly.  I mean, they’re voodoo dolls – they don’t even have real faces!  And they’re only on screen for four minutes and don’t utter a single line of dialog.  Yet the message of sacrifice is so powerful it really makes an impression.  It’s bolstered by amazing animation and a perfect musical score, but it truly demonstrates that sometimes the simplest stories can be the most effective.
 
I’ve actually seen the film several times since then, and it gets to me every time. One of the places was a screenwriting class where the instructor was showing it to drive home the point that oftentimes less really is more.  I also think it’s a great illustration of the writer’s mantra “show don’t tell” – the body language of the voodoo dolls and a few simple actions not only tell us everything we need to know, but also impact us emotionally.  Sebastian’s Voodoo is an example of simple, yet powerful storytelling I think we should all keep in mind while writing.
 
What did you think of Sebastian’s Voodoo?  Do you think it has anything to teach us as writers?  How eXited is Chloe with her letter X?  (Actually I’m not sure what kind of eXpression that is on her face!)

Comments

Displaced's picture

Thanks for popping by Gonna Eat Worms... yes X was tricky but it was made worse for me be being super tired late at night... Why today is Y day!

Jocelyn Rish's picture

We're almost at the end!

michelle's picture

The X-post was the worst - you're soooo right!
I battled to find a musically-related word... so I tweaked a word beginning with es- and changed it to x-
A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do!
I think Chloe looks 'woebegone' (and don't ask me why, but that word popped into my head when I looked at her face...)

Jocelyn Rish's picture

We defintely had to get creative to make it work. :-)
Aww, woebegone is a great description of Chloe's face.  I think we snapped the picture right after she licked her lips and that's why she looks a bit funny.  

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