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Entries in Shaun Tan (2)


Shaun Tan's Oscar-Winning Short

And here's another by Tan. His 2011-Oscar-winning short film is available on the internet, with French subtitles for some reason. Fifteen minutes long and worth every second. It has a dystopian feel, sort of 1984 or Brave New World, but with a much more benign voice.

Hat tip to SF Signal


Shaun Tan's Arrival

I like to keep the focus here somewhere close to science and SF. At first glance, Academy Award winning author Shaun Tan's marvelous book Arrival has nothing to do with either. It's a story about an immigrant husband's arrival in a new land (perhaps New York, though Tan lives in Australia), leaving his wife and child behind.

What's most impressive about Tan's approach is that he uses no words, no recognizable language at all, to get across the narrative. While there are cyphers and lettering in the immigrant's new city, they are unreadable and hence supremely confusing. By avoiding comprehensible language, Tan's narrative shows the deeply unmoored sense of alienation that happens when one moves to a new land.

Tan's urban landscapes remind me of those one finds in SF or Fantasy -- full of impossibly big buildings, strange animals, weird food. Even though it isn't overtly a work of either, in spirit it's as much a work of SF as is Blade Runner, though in a quieter and more optimistic vein.

Since it comes without linguistic baggage, it's universally understandable, and approachable by even the youngest. And of course it's beautifully drawn.