A funny thing about watching hundreds of festival submissions every year is seeing films come in waves. Some years, you’ll see a few dozen films set underwater, or an endless stream of films showing the numbing effects of cell phones (please stop making those, by the way).

Last year, space was very much the place. But even set within that constellation of cosmic shorts, Dr D Foothead’s The Form of Space instantly stood out. It’s partly the palette, all hyper-saturated pastels, and partly the character designs that land somewhere between Moebius and the rubber-hose designs of 1930s animation (something about it makes me think of a more otherworldly La Joie De Vivre). More than anything, though, The Form of Space is a mood piece—the reason I keep coming back to it is less for the story, striking as it is, and more just to linger in its world a little longer.

Foothead’s work is also a great gateway into other psychedelic goodies. He’s done music videos for The Oh Sees and GUM, among many others, and it’s easy to see how his bright, cosmic psychedelia would appeal to those artists. He also credits Italo Calvino’s Cosmicomics as the inspiration for The Form of Space—I personally hadn’t heard of it, but if Ursula K Le Guin’s recommendation counts for anything, it sounds fantastic. I’ve already put it on hold.

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