Prologue (2015)

prologue

There’s a stark beauty to the animation of Richard Williams that is wildly undercut by the startling violence that ensues. Williams is very talented with presenting very fluid and life black and white animation that is reduced to very horrific scenes of battles and a war ensuing in the middle of a field.

Set 2,400 years ago, we follow four nameless warriors, two from Sparta, and two from Athens, as they manage to sneak up on one another through the incredible beauty of nature, and meet with swords and axes swinging wildly. The anatomy matched with excellent facial expressions make the battle we see very grim and compelling, especially when Williams paints the black and white scenes with splashes of red indicating massive blood splatter.

Williams’ beautiful motion and sense of movement is further emphasized with the massive battle that ensues resulting in horrific deaths and executions that look just as terrible animated as in reality. The panning over to a small girl witnessing the entire conflict is a nice metaphor on the beauty and the violence disrupting the entire experience. Williams’ “Prologue” is a great experiment in playing innocence against violence, and beauty against war.