Ryan is a gorgeous short film that pushes the traditional boundaries of documentary.    An animation about an animator, Ryan explores the inner psyche through its surreal presentation.  In this way, it ties the true story to its artistic interpretation.   This would be a great film to use for a discussion on how documentarians can change the perception of their subjects through their filming techniques. Even documentaries that attempt objectivity are always tainted with assumptions, preferences, or cultural context.  However, objectivity is not always the objective - and director Chris Landreth manipulates the very fabric of reality to convey a very beautiful and tragic portrait of his subject.

Watching Ryan reminds me of an assumption that many people have about surrealism - that it is synonymous with "unreal".  The truth, of course, is that the surrealists wanted to create work that was more than real.  

Ryan is a perfect example of that.


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