It’s a slow, sunny day somewhere in a city, and an elderly man is adding a new addition to his potted plants collection on his windowsill, in his top-floor apartment. He stands back to admire his lovely little assortment, when one of the plants, which happens to be the most recently added one, falls and crashes in the streets below. With his wildly vivid and creative imagination, the old man, Ivor, imagines himself toppling over and falling out of his house as if he was the plant itself as well.
Stricken with paranoia, Ivor moves out of this apartment complex into a two-story one, away from the city. There, he tidies up his new home and tries to make it feel comfortable and homey. First, he hangs up his picture frames exactly as he had them before, then he puts his taped up flower pot on a shelf, and finally, he sets up his bookshelf. As he carries a stack of books upstairs, the inevitable happens… a book falls off and bounces down the stairs. Again, Ivor imagines himself falling down, and ends up having to move to another house.
In his new, completely flat, one-story home, Ivor once again puts everything back in its position. Books in place, picture frames in place, etc. He walks into the next room, carrying a delicate teapot, and predictably trips and breaks the teapot. Stricken with horror, he backs into a chair, and nearly falls out of that too! Oh boy, here comes the chain reaction… As soon as the chair hits the wall, the two hanging picture frames fall and crash to the floor too, leaving Ivor in more horror. He backs out of his house with his head in his hands, and doesn’t realize that there is a step down to get out of the house. He stumbles back, falls into a field of flowers, and dies.
PLOT TWIST! I lied. Ivor is just as surprised as us when he opens one eye and realizes he’s still alive. He looks around in the field of flowers, and sees that they’re the same as the ones he plants. He digs a small hole and plants his flowers into the ground. Standing up, the passionate gardener looks at the surroundings of his new house and sees empty, yet beautiful hills, waiting to be flourished with flowers. The end!
This film was definitely one to remember (for me). I’ve watched it three times now, and it still amazes me each time. The way the filmmaker created this short with the puppetry made me love it 5x more because it gave such a nostalgic feel. I immediately thought of shows like Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, The Adventures of Noddy, and all the other ones I’m forgetting. The music score was perfect for the film and the drawings or little sets or however they make films like these(!) were so cute and whimsical, it made me really happy. 🙂
What I thought was the moral of this story was never run away from your fears, because that’s not going to solve anything. You can’t just keep hiding from something because eventually, it will catch up to you and bite you in the butt. (I don’t know if it was just me but that first part sounded like something from a horror movie.. “You can run but you can’t hide!” MWAHAHA.)
Another thing that I thought of after watching this film was the French Revolution. That’s what I’ve been learning in AP Euro right now, and A Tale Of Two Cities by Charles Dickens is set in the period too. I thought of this historical period because of the word “afraid” in the title of the film. During the French Revolution, everyone was affected by paranoia, because no one knew if they were going to be beheaded today, tomorrow, or the next day. It was a time where you really had to live in the moment. Can you imagine how that would be today? We really should appreciate every moment we’re on Earth, because who knows when the world would end? It could even be tonight. If you passed in your sleep, would you be satisfied with your life?