Satoshi Kon, 2008
Suitably capturing the fleeting and the intangible on film is an achievement in feature-length cinema, yet this fifty-nine second animation beautifully wraps up the ephemerality of a wake-up ritual. Perhaps after a heavy night of celebration, a woman is awoken by her phone and becomes split into two. Both bodies appear translucent, with one falling behind another, only to be reunited in the mirror once her ritual is complete.
Capturing the elusiveness of morning fog, the ghost of the unconscious self lingers, weighed down on the mattress a few moments more. The body is forced out of slumber while the spirit rests until fully prepared to receive its soul. Primed by water this ritual is ancient in origins, owing itself to religious practice as well as everyday necessities.
The short explores the mystery of the dream state, not simply as a state of mind but a physical realm the body is tied to during slumber. To be see-through is to pass time without effect, to blend into one’s environment. She is part of the bed, the fridge, the morning news, and all the elements that influence her day.
In an age of idealised morning routines, the film takes on another significance in finding the beauty in simplicity and even banality. Without romanticising 5am wake-up calls, intense workouts, elaborate recipes or expensive products the woman prances around her own cluttered space with grace. This animation is not only beautiful visually, but in its reminder of the pleasures of simply being awake despite the luxury of sleep.