The House of Small Cubes by Kunio Katō is a sweet and moving story of a man who lives in a house above the water. As the sea levels continue to rise, he has to build additional levels onto the existing roof for a dry place to live. When he drops his pipe into the depths of his sea-filled home, he is taken on a journey through his past.
This 12-minute film stands out stylistically – the hand-drawn frames are reminiscent to ‘The Snowman’ and the colours used in some parts are quite unexpected, making it unique in that aspect. When he takes a trip through memory lane, we journey with him through moments of sadness and pure joy and the transitions between these scenes and memories, both visually and musically, are seamless. I was swept into his memories just as he was and the experience was quite touching. For a film of this length, I was surprised by how much I learned about his life and how quickly I was able to connect with his story emotionally.
Perhaps my favourite thing about this short film is that it is completely universal. The absence of speech means that ‘The House of Small Cubes’ does not alienate viewers of a different language and can be fully experienced by everyone.
If you have a spare 12 minutes, this film will certainly not disappoint.