The Cadence is a 33-minute animated film shot in stop motion by the artist Luca Dipierro, using marionettes made with paper, bookcloth, and thread. Five years in the making, the film features a soundtrack by freddie Murphy and Chiara Lee.
The Cadence tells the story of a boy, lover of silence, and the journey toward his own beginning. It’s a tale made of tales, populated by bizarre characters who enter and exit swiftly, as on a puppet theatre stage: masked children waiting for the last leaf to fall; a moon-faced mother; a vengeful horse; a sorrowful giant; a butcher boar; a hunter hunted; and many more.
By way of encounter—apparition, flight, jump, stare, fight, dance, caress, blow, wound, fugue—the characters move from tenderness to violence, from solitude to longing, from stasis to trajectory, from mourning to feast.
Reminiscent of the narrative detours of fairy tales and the aesthetic of 19th-century movable books, The Cadence is a story without dialogue, carried entirely by the enigmatic eloquence of puppets and sounds. The music runs through the film like an underground river, a chamber of echoes and resonances. The opening sequence shows a monkey beating on a drum: the meeting of sound and symbol, a rhythm mythical and impending beneath the surface of things.
The world of The Cadence moves in a cyclical time, dressed in intimate textures and elemental materials: cloth, paper, wood, stone. In one scene, the character of a goat-riding witch gazes up, but there is no sky. Instead, the textured surface of wood. Up is down and down is up: Carnival.
Poster art by Futakuchi Takayuki
"Suggestive and unashamedly honest in its assertions, 'The Cadence' works as a constant (and inviting) reminder of your own personal need to bring back the dead."
"Dipierro [...} transports the viewer into a fantastical realm of excitement, sorrow, and beauty in this can’t-miss short film."
"[...] the director reflects on death in a personal and playful way."