Watch Zoetropic Memories Come to Life in the Powerfully Resplendent Re-Belief

A big part of anyone’s life and personality is the hold of what usually remains unseen: the memories, the emotions, the mental prisms that seem to trap us, bind us to some preordained fate. The innate parts that always leave us asking: is there any way to break free?

Perhaps there is, declares Raymond McCarthy Bergeron, a graduate student at the Rochester Institute of Technology, if we give them form and life beyond our minds. Such is the premise behind Bergeron’s Re-Belief , a zoetrope animation he created with Autodesk Maya software and 3D-printed and handcrafted pieces.  In spite all the new technology used, the animation has an eerily hypnotizing feel, in no small part because it was filmed at 24 frames per second, the speed of the world’s very first animations.

It is easy at first to be confounded by the film: in its repetitive motifs and subjects it seems is subversive and anarchic, a struggle of individualism against order and thought. But watched more closely, one realizes it is more personal and striking dimensions. Indeed, Re-Belief represents nine of Bergeron’s experiences, ones whose memories have stuck with him and haunted him, from the pleasurable to the downright painful.

But by Bergerson’s own admission, the video is not solely about him. The aim of the film was to connect viewers to their own similar experiences and memories, to have them confront them and remember them as they dance and wallow and play on the screen.

Re-Belief is nothing short of powerful, but its intensity is easily approached, measured by the spirited childlike pieces and a world as crude and sordid as it is pure and innocent. There is no denying something eternal here in the ever moving parts, as true now perhaps as it was when animation was more painstakingly raw, more awe-inspiring and, lest one forget, novel.

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