Zeb’s Spider isn’t so itsy bitsy, and this woman can give Sam Greenfield, the unluckiest person in the world from the animated movie, Luck, a run for her money. They both live in sub-basement apartments, and just have a lot of problems in life to face. This down-and-out individual is deathly afraid of arachnids, and as for what she does to the wall crawler is an entertaining variation of a cat and mouse tale.
This stop-motion animated short produced by the National Film Board of Canada is making its world debut at the 2022 Vancouver International Film Festival today, and has two screenings (please see below for details).
But before the eight legged wonder can be called friend, they must work out their issues. This human’s place is often riddled with other pestilence, and without this tiny wonder, her life might even take an even worse fate. What this short by Alicia Eisen and Sophie Jarvis offers is more than a fable. There are some insights to what defines some people, and scares others. Some might say encounters with the unknown can become a wake-up call.
As for who Zeb is, perhaps she’s afraid of society more so than in what to do with herself when she’s feeling down. In what she must confront is at the heart of this tale.
There’s a lot of silent film narrative to admire, and this is a work that’ll get people thinking. The raggedy world Zeb lives in is very appropriate. This short reminded me of those early Charlie Chaplin efforts, and although the connections are miniscule, I think what connects is in how well the performance cues tie things together.
Also, depending on the culture, spiders can be regarded as tricksters, creators, or even destroyers. In this work, this critter is a spinner of destinies.
Eisen and Jarvis said, “I think what cautionary fables do is tell ‘You do this, or a bad thing will happen,’ and we did not want to fall into that realm. We used devices from these methods of storytelling to create a film that is open to interpretation and can encourage conversations about fate and self-fulfilling prophecies.”
Zeb’s Spider is playing this and the following weekend at The Rio Theatre (1660 E Broadway) in Vancouver, BC.
Oct 1, 6:30 pm and Oct 8, 9:00 p.m.
Screening before Huesera (Mexico/Peru, 2022, 93 min)