Review: Headless Population

Get ready for a whirlwind of emotions as Catriona Carswell’s short film ‘Headless population ‘takes you on a journey through the many wonders of nature all the way to the brutal consequences of modern technology.

Review: Headless Population

Catriona Carswell’s ‘Headless population’ is an animated short film funded by the BBC focused on presenting a grave warning to the viewer criticising the increase of our dependence on modern technology by accompanying us on a journey from a time we embraced the natural wonders of life. The film’s portrayal of this issue, while predominantly negative, is carefully presented to suggest a semblance of hope to encourage the audience to reflect on their own relationship with technology.

One of the most prominent elements of this short film is its rather simple abstract art style and use of colour to inspire emotion and a sense of change on a complicated topic. The opening of the short is painted in vibrant colours as Carswell takes us on a tour of nature’s masterpiece’s however, this is short lived as the vivid colours are gradually drawn from the film creating an ominous atmosphere that has you longing to return to the beginning.

The exploration of humanity’s relationship with modern age necessities provokes a range of emotions which I feel are individual to each viewer. While I hold the opinion the film itself is an emotional one, I feel strongly that it was made to inspire your own reflection on the relationship you have with technology. Was this Carswell’s master plan when creating this short?

Though the wider message of this short inspires a debate into the influence of technology, a few of the finer details in the animation piqued my interest as Carswell introduces you to another perspective. While we see most of the film’s population entranced by technology there are a sparse few that create a sense of frustration and longing for the intimate moments in the real-world. A small point which may seem insignificant sets this short apart from the vast amount of media that I have seen which explores this topic through a narrow perspective.

The final scenes of film are the hardest hitting as the population’s actions are revealed to have significant consequences which cultivated regret as it made me consider my own disregard of the world and the people closest to me. So, I would say if you’re looking to for a quick eye-opening piece of media to spark some deeper discussion Headless Population would be a fantastic way to start.

Header Image Credit: BBC

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Amelia Lucas

Amelia Lucas

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