Threads is why animation exists. It’s a simplified little tale with even simpler animation, but every single aspect of the art style informs the story that Oscar-winning animator Torill Kove wants to tell. That story is one about love, relationships, and the interconnection required of the human experience.
Though Threads is full of characters that are only a step above stick-figures, the style and color palette are simplistic in nature, and the film is completely free of dialogue, the story it tells is comprehensive. It’s a strange paradox; I could easily describe the entire “plot” of Threads in this review, yet I may never be able to explain everything in the film.
So, maybe just the facts. It is hand-drawn animation, mostly dominated by whitespace so that you focus on the central characters. The film opens with threads dangling from the sky as people reach upwards trying to grasp them. Once our main character grabs ahold of one, she is whisked away on a journey that will be as rewarding as it is heart-breaking.
But the thread is more than just a metaphor for the path that we take through life. It also speaks to the relationships that we have with those we love, the interdependence between parents and children, and the need to discover one’s own path.
Put plainly, Threads is magnificent, despite its simplicity.
Screens (as part of Short Cuts Programme 1):
Thursday, September 7, 9:15 PM, Scotiabank 2
Thursday, September 14, 6:30 PM, Scotiabank 10
Tickets can be purchased at the TIFF website.