Earlier this spring, in the midst of its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival Critics Week sidebar, a sneak preview popped up online for “Mourir Aupres de Toi,” a short film collaboration between director Spike Jonze and designer Olympia Le-Tan. Jonze has been busy since with a plethora of projects including music videos for the Beastie Boys and Kanye West and Jay-Z, that we kind of forgot about this. But the full-length short is now available to view in the comfort of your own home/office, and it’s certainly worth clicking on during your next coffee break.
Debuting over at Nowness, it’s a felt cut-out love story and adventure all rolled into one, taking place across a bookshelf. The animation is whimsical and really well done, with Le-Tan’s personally handcut characters and backgrounds coming vibrantly to life. It has a beautiful sweetness to it as well, and as Jonze notes, when developing the story with Le-Tan, “We would look at all the artwork over lunch whenever we would be in the same city, noting any ideas that would just make us smile.” And that charm is certainly in full evidence.
So check it out below, and it will have to hold you over until Jonze gets to work on his next feature, which will hopefully be the untitled satire written by Charlie Kaufman set up at Warner Bros. with Joaquin Phoenix attached to star.