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by Sebastian Freudenschuss

grade: 7

Transit by Sebastian Freudenschuss wants to urge us first and foremost to take action, not to let commerce and capitalism take over our lives and our everyday lives entirely. At the Vienna Shorts 2024.

Return to the origins

In the world we live in, capitalism is, unfortunately, increasingly dominant. But is it possible to circumvent such capitalism while living and working in an environment where capitalism itself is commonplace? Can anything non-commercial ever be created while constantly working with all that is commercial? The protagonist of the animated short film Transit, directed by Sebastian Freudenschuss and presented as part of the Vienna Shorts 2024 programme, in the AA – ‘Animation Avantgarde’ section, asks himself this complex question.

It is night. A young man in pyjamas falls into the immensity of space through an open door, from which a beam of light comes out and which is also suspended in the void. The man’s face is shown to us in close-up, then magically splits in two, revealing a rather barren environment. What could it be? An office? A laboratory? The man enters this room, where several computers and various objects lie on the floor. Many doors open, taking us, each time, into many new rooms. Everything seems uncertain, aleatory. The protagonist is the only human being present. What has become of all the others? And, above all, how can one ‘free’ oneself from such a grey, cold world, finally regaining contact with oneself and what we were originally?

In Transit, a constant voice-over conveys the protagonist’s thoughts to us. At the same time, colourful, two-dimensional images with an almost rétro character remind us of the 1980s animated series we are so fond of. A directorial approach that is both visionary and minimalist at the same time proved to be the winning solution in order to stage a story with a strong dreamlike component that in its highly abstract form soon reveals itself to be much more realistic than it might initially seem. Past, present and future come together in this remarkable little short film by Sebastian Freudenschuss and convey a very precise message.

Transit, therefore, wants to urge us first and foremost to take action, not to allow commerce and capitalism to take over our lives entirely. The lights and colours are almost dazzling in the darkness of the space and, somehow, they almost want to ‘wake us up’ from that torpor we have been living in for so long, too long. And so, very soon, this interesting short film by Sebastian Freudenschuss turns out to be a highly political and topical film, urging us to be critical and active with regard to the world we live in. And is this not, perhaps, one of the many tasks of our beloved cinema? The director is well aware of this and in communicating it to us, he has revealed himself to be both concrete and original at the same time, showing a talent that, we are sure, will give us many more beautiful surprises in the future.

Original title: Transit
Directed by: Sebastian Freudenschuss
Country/year: Austria / 2024
Running time: 4’
Genre: animation
Screenplay: Sebastian Freudenschuss
Cinematography: Sebastian Freudenschuss
Produced by: Sebastian Freudenschuss

Info: the page of Transit on the website of the Vienna Shorts