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Réka Bucsi: Solar Walk

Work / Animation

Réka Bucsi’s sci-fi animation Solar Walk is a cosy but weird exploration of alien life

The world built by the Hungarian animator Réka Bucsi for her new 20-minute sci-fi short Solar Walk fluctuates between the recognisable and entirely alien. “It’s about a new world with different rules, which can be very abstract and create a great balance between magic and reality,” Réka tells It’s Nice That. “Sci-fi offers a good escape and it reflects on real problems in an engaging way.”

There are triangular traffic signs and a mock Tudor cottage that you’re more likely to find in a sleepy home counties village rather than an extraterrestrial planet; but there are freaky bits too. At one point the film enters a very weird time-space dimension where the floating head of an elderly gent spits out mini bald noggins. “That balance between familiar and unknown is always one of my main focuses when I’m starting a movie,” Réka explains. “The alien part is also something I like to keep alien, something that you can’t discover entirely. I prefer not to know my characters very intimately. Instead, I wanted to focus on the original version of perspective and discovering what we could potentially take away from traveling through space and understanding something like infinity. I wanted to focus on kindness as the main characteristic for the creatures, and the act of creating something.”

The film flits around in tone, switching from serious meditations on abstract shapes, to more humorous sections where Réka’s weird and wonderful characters pluck the hypnotic polygons out of thin air to create musical instruments and communication devices. Any earnest gravity built up by the epic sections is shattered when the tiny creatures use them for domestic tasks. “I thought it would be nice to have characters interact with the abstraction. It makes those shapes and forms real and elevates them from the two-dimensional." She goes on to say: "Making the storyboard was a very playful process.”

The film will be released on 11 April via Vimeo’s On Demand service – an experiment for Réka in whether it can prove an alternative income stream for her work. “It makes it possible to stay more independent and prepare my next film, without having to rely on funding, commissions or people that want to shape the project in a way the filmmaker doesn’t want,” she explains. “I have no idea what I can actually get out of this, but it’s worth a try. I don’t think people should just give away their work for free. It’s so much time and money to make a movie like this, and I’m also happy to support an artist I like with a dollar or two.”

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Réka Bucsi: Solar Walk

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Réka Bucsi: Solar Walk