The Alchemist’s Letter

The film’s overarching message may not be the most innovative, but the way in which it hits those well-worn narrative beats is quite unique and effective. Stevens uses the visual language of highly polished 3D animation to convey the story. The design work present in this film is astounding as is the lighting and camera-motion. Although the film essentially takes place in only one location, by using the Alchemist’s fascinating machine as a central visual storytelling device, the viewer is transported effortlessly to different places and times. What results is essentially a montage, but it’s a highly effective one—impeccably designed and imbuing the material with just enough depth to form a lump in your throat. It’s perfect for those with short attention spans who just want an immediate injection of “the feels.”

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