Recycling elements of surrealism and cubism, this animated short by Theodore Ushev focuses on the relationship between art and war. Propelled by the exalting “invasion” theme from Shostakovich’s Leningrad Symphony (No. 7), the film presents imagery of combat fronts and massacres, leading us from Dresden to Guernica, from the Spanish Civil War to Star Wars. It is at once a symphony that serves the war machine, that stirs the masses, and art that mourns the dead, voices its outrage and calls for peace.
Ushev draws upon the rich history of Modern art in Gloria Victoria, and turns it into a visceral and original animated experience. I saw a workprint last fall, and if it’s not plainly evident from these previews, it’s a mind-blowing art lover’s delight.