In our age, when movies are chalked full of computer generated special effects the impact a good special effect can have is lost on today’s movie-going audiences. Whether it be the Death Star destroying Alderaan, Frank Poole running around the centrifuge of Discovery One, or an alien bursting out of a poor crewman’s chest; special effects can produce images that impact us and resonate in us.
Elefante is one of those films that takes a seemingly simple special effect and uses it to produce an image that is unique and memorable, namely, a man turning into an elephant.
This effect, though simple has a large impact on the tone and feeling of the film. Elefante is a dark, Kafkaesque film with a spattering of dark humor, mostly because of the effect of a man turning into an elephant. What could be a simple film about a man loosing his family is transformed into a twisted, yet comical little tale, and one the resonates in the hearts of the audiences.
Elefante is one of my favorite short films, mostly because it shows you exactly how an effect should be used. It’s subtle (as subtle as an elephant man can be), but powerful and does exactly what I want my special effects in movies to do.