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Orgesticulanismus by Mathieu Labaye


This one’s a must-see! Orgesticulanismus by Mathieu Labaye of Camera Etc. starts out slow but quickly turns into one of the most impressive shorts I’ve seen in a while. It’s an animator’s film with lots of beautiful, wildly creative hand-drawn animation on display. I just find it incredibly inspiring to see skilled animators freestyling and having fun with the graphic possibilities of the medium. The film appears to have some deeper meaning as well; it’s a tribute to the late Benoît Labaye, and the French dialogue is the voice of Labaye. It’s on YouTube, but embedding is disabled, so head over here to watch it.

(Thanks to Louis-Étienne Vallée for pointing this out, and to Catsuka.com for the original post)

  • French dialogue but this genius is from Belgium. Impressive.

  • Doug Vitarelli

    OH YEAH!!!

  • Wow! Inspiring. Thanks for posting Amid.

  • thats it, the greatest single shot of 2d animation has been made.

  • jakob schuh

    This (and the post just below, actually) are by far the most beautiful things I’ve seen this year. Thanks for that! J.

  • very well done. the opening almost lost me as i felt it was dragging on a bit too much, but it certainly pays off with some extremely well done work.

  • That was really beautiful. Thanks for that.

    I wonder if the voice over takes something away or not as I really didn’t feel like I needed any more information.

  • Sean

    I want to know how he did it!

    Amazing stuff!

  • thanks for posting, that was a trip and a half.

  • That was a great way to start my day…..loved it.

  • beautiful drawing
    very inspirational, thanks for posting this Amid

  • That was one of the best things I’ve ever seen. I’m breathless.

  • This is totally astonishing.

  • Henk K.


    It almost feels like Patrick smith meets Ryan Larkin. Very interesting perspective and what a visual joy to watch.


  • Chuck R.

    Thanks, for this, Amid! I enjoyed reading all the poignant Ollie tributes, but after three days discussing the “end of an era” I’ve really been craving something like this.

    I love the way this short uses repetition in a playful but calculated way. It seems to revel in lulling the viewer to the point of “okay, I get it” and then delivers a payoff that really rewards you for staying with it. I wish I spoke French and I wish I had a DVD of it to view it properly. As it is —Fantastique!

  • MJ

    I had heard that this animation was created by the man in the wheelchair and the idea behind it was that he wanted to animate all the movements that he was not able to do. and here it is.

  • red pill junkie

    It really paid off to stand the rather slow intro. But then… WHAM!


  • Could some one who speaks French give us some information about this Benoit guy in English?

    I found this which sounds really cool, especially for Brew readers.

  • Bruce

    I’ll be perfectly honest with you, Amid.

    I thought the whole thing was boring.

  • miles

    Boring? I hope this is a case of internet sarcasm not coming across.

  • dronon

    Here’s my approximate translation of the French:

    (Opening slideshow): “I think it’s through movement that we make our lives our own, the freedom to come and go, to make gestures of love, of tenderness, of anger… And so when we’re deprived of movement like I am, and like other people are, I think that in order to survive you have to re-invent movement in some other way. So what goes on in my head isn’t purely cerebral or intellectual; it’s a way of creating an inner space for myself [that approximates things manually].” (? last bit hard to understand)

    (Sequence of repeated daily motions): “Once you live [handicapped?], live completely dependently immobile, you live something that’s in fact… something that can’t be shared. You can’t easily describe it, or talk about it, because when two people talk, to be able to understand each other, there has to be a minimum of common experience between them, that each one can talk about something in the form of an experience.”

    (Abstract shapes): “It’s true that handicapped immobility makes you gradually accept that there are things you can’t do. But conversely, I also believe that it allows a whole series of possibilities to open, notably an inner freedom, an inner space, but also in the way in which we can connect with other people. I think that in a handicap, in [?] and [?], that the human spirit is something inexhaustible, at the level of desire, of energy, of inner strength, and they’re things that are perhaps discovered with more urgency and strength when you [? can no longer move.]”

  • dronon

    In terms of what I can understand from Benoit’s bio that was linked to, he was a Belgian Green politician (b. 1951, d. 2006) with an eclectic university background including computer science and philosophy. He was very interested in urban policy, city planning and social policies, especially where the handicapped and elderly were concerned. He himself had been confined to a wheelchair since age 15 due to a rare progressive disease. The article quotes him urging citizens to participate in politics and democracy for promoting a common good. He had recently published his first book. He seems to have been well-respected by his peers.

  • Thanks for the translation dronon, I’m glad the narrative vaguely matched what I derived from it.
    One of my guesses toward the meaning involved the unprovoked justification of animation in general: a meticulous study of form and motion of dutiful repetition to recreate reality (the slow beginning), an exaggerated hyperbole of movement and expression pushing the limits of imagination (the figurative, high-energy part), and finally, the abstract forms being the subtle nuances, moods and experiences that are difficult to express in words. Overall, an “essence of animation showcase”. Very nice.

  • Chris L

    Fantastic. Definitely a film for animators.

    That repeated motion looks just like pencil tests – no beginning or end, just an arbitrary point in the middle.

  • Bruce

    To Miles:

    It wasn’t sarcasm; I will not deny that this is a fine example of using symmetry, with the addition of smart posing and timing.

    Symmetry, which is usually a sin in animation, the team who worked on this film did a fine job on this short film. The message is also well presented.

    However, that doesn’t change my opinion, which to me, the film was a snore-fest.

    And I’m still going to stay at that.

    From an inspiring animator/ artist

  • the first 4 or so minutes are a little slow (especially because I don’t understand French), but totally worth siting through to watch the rest. I especially loved how the figures throughout the dance sequence make sense, and flow with the animation.

  • John

    I think it’s an OK clip. It’s certainly fantastic animation, but like so much fantastic animation these days, it totally fails as a short film. It has great spurts of energy and talent that ultimately add up to little substance.

    I don’t think it’s “boring”, just poorly paced and kind of hollow. I hope to see more of these “mind-blowing” young artists spend a few weeks in film school to learn the basics of writing, communicating with an audience, etc. A cool showreel like this will only impress those of us in the animation crowd, and there’s so much more to making a well rounded movie.

  • Graham

    Looks good.

    Now the only thing I care about is figuring out how the hell to pronounce the title.

  • The pacing was intentional in my view. No ‘snore fest’ but as many commentators point out, one has to stick with it. The change equals impact idea is very well displayed between the slow start and energetic central part. I found the human figure animation amazing through the central part that led into the exaggerated forms.

    Really nice animation. And thanks for the translation dronon and the background information, it adds to the film. I think the story came through the images pretty clearly.

  • lyndaluckylyll

    Hi everybody !

    I put a translation of Benoît Labaye speaking in the movie and some links to know more about him, next to the title, just click on “more informations”.

    Special thanks to Dronon and Arcatin for their nice works.

  • If you want “ENGLISH VERSION”, you can see it on: