Negative Space | Oscar Nominated Stop-Motion Animation | Short of the Week

Negative Space | Oscar Nominated Stop-Motion Animation | Short of the Week


My dad taught me how to pack: lay out everything. Put back half. Roll things that roll. Wrinkle-prone things on top of cotton things. Then pants, waist-to-hem. Nooks and crannies for socks. Belts around the sides like snakes. Plastic over that. Then, add shoes. Wear heavy stuff. We started when I was little. I’d roll up socks. Then he’d put me in the suitcase. Some guys bond with their dads shooting hoops or talking about Chevrolets. We did it over luggage. By the time I was twelve, if my Dad was busy, I’d pack for him. Mom tried but didn’t have the knack. He’d get somewhere for work, open his suitcase and text me —”Perfect.” That one word from him meant a lot. The funeral was terrible —my Dad laid out in that big carton and me thinking, Look at all that wasted space.

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  1. “look at all that wasted space" referred to the space occupied by his father's protagonist attitude in coffin of his son's life.

  2. In my opinion, "wasted space" here is that, his father used to take every important stuff in his suitcase and go for work, at that time his suitcase was so full and didn't have any space to put anything else so he always had to fold stuff into the small size. but in the end of life, you take nothing with you, at that time, your "life" named suitcase becomes empty. so the speaker says, "look at all that wasted space"

  3. I don't know why but it hit me hard 😐 there are so many things which put me in trauma … The compliment ' perfect' I haven't got any such compliment from my father may be because he haven't seen anything perfect in me … The empty space .. we literally have so much of empty space between us and gap is creating more difference in our thoughts and we avoid sharing and discussing things😭

  4. Seeing all these comments about their interpretations on the last line from the short, and here my less insightful self is thinking about it literally…since that was all his dad really taught him, he only knows how to bond with his father through fitting luggage. Even at the end of his dad’s life, that’s all he can think about despite the melancholic mood.

  5. Wow, this is AMAZING!!!!! I can't believe it was merely NOMINATED, it should have won! This is true art! I love the part when he is little and it shows him as /actually/ minuscule, and then he gets lost in the suitcase and its an OCEAN!!!! That is sooooo creative! And fantastic transition of the car becoming the zipper! This short is INCREDIBLE!!!

  6. I thought the wasted space meant that the man didn't even deserve to have a coffin… more like "a waste of space."

  7. Wasted space could be a metaphor for – if you spend all your time preparing for something (packing), you disregard what’s right in front of you.

  8. My Dad is a good provider. I respect him and I'm sure he loves me in his way. But he never says anything to me but searing criticism.

  9. I think the wasted space IS his dad because I hate my dad, so like I've got the experience on what is going on. Little softies are like wasted space a metaphor to wasted time. Pfffft please.

  10. An old Tamil song,
    ஆடி அடங்கும் வாழ்கையடா ….
    ஆறடி நிலமே சொந்தமடா….

  11. I think the underwater scene was telling us that during his childhood, the most familiar things he knew were those shirts, socks, belt etc

  12. Look at all those wasted space refers to his dad whose always on a tour and they hardly spend time together except for packing bags peerhaps. So he calls all those moments without dad wasted

  13. according to me he wanted to teach him … try and place everything well together im suitcase so that his child wont get irritate on his own mess up afterwards.when he learnt his father got the idea now he has learnt where and how to put things so that there will be no negative space in his life . well done

  14. You cannot carry anything with you in your coffin, your riches, your dissapointments, your hatred, your selfishness, your ego, your happiness, thats what "wasted space" means to me.

  15. I don't interpret the "wasted space" as wasted time or periods of time. I see it as a lack of substance. The son doesn't know his father well because his dad was away most of the time. Note that all the things the son says are related to the father being absent or teaching him to pack. The fact that he was surrounded by nothing of substance or valuable like the usage of space in the suitcase/packing metaphor. The son only sees his body but nothing really beyond. The son's memories of him are almost simplified into this one image of his father alone in the casket which is devastating.

  16. Btw did anyone think that …the author was almost 40 and the story is uploaded in 2019
    Therefore 2019 – (40 – 12 ) = 2019 – 28 = 1991
    So isint it a bit awkward that a 12 year old kid back in 1991 had a smartphone???

  17. Maybe look at all that wasted space = look at all that wasted time (time the father & son did not spend together)

  18. It reminds me of my time with my dad. Never really talk something in common and the one thing he has taught me is to fight for yourself and never gave up. So as my mom has taught too. And one thing he ever had to guide me is to ride my bicycle for the first time. Mostly I am a self-learner and so do I believe to teach others.

  19. Perhaps look at all that wasted space meant that his Father have always wanted efficiency in packing and perfect is the only praise he has ever needed- the Son, but when it came to his own ending he couldn’t perfectly utilise the space in his coffin, he couldn’t be efficient in that and that really says a lot about our abilities as humans in life & death

  20. What a powerful video ……. at the end there was no time for arrangement…. He filled all spaces when he was alive, only to die having more spaces.. 3:44 Imperfect

  21. Oh here the wasted space refers to wasted time where he could have spend more times with his dad and to this he regrets at the funeral by seeing alot of empty space in his father coffin which he wished he could have filled it .( Hope this has some point, Ur critics will help me)

  22. I see the end line completely different…I don't see it as a critique of poor bond, quite the oposite…his father is leaving and this time he can't pack his suitcase, he can't ease his journey…it's the sadest part of loosing someone – he is leaving on the most scary journey and you can't do anything to help him.

  23. I’ve always been a huge nerd for stop motion animation and I really love how much detail goes into large and small projects like these! I hope someday I can help be a part of one of these amazing works of art❤️

  24. In my eyes, I see this is a story of a son and his father who never got to spend time together. The suitcase seemed like an ironic metaphor for trying to fit as much into life as you can, but in doing so leaving something behind. He saw the coffin and thought "Look at all that wasted space" because he saw the opportunity he has with his father, all the time they could've spent but didn't. My perspective, at least aha

  25. This really shows that there are more things in life than just work. Leave behind a part of yourself to those you love. You'll find peace in death than what you did in life.

    It really was a great animated film

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