A few years ago, Alice Saey’s video for the song Happy by Mark Lotterman took the film festival circuit by storm. Expect the video for Jo Goes Hunting’s “Careful” to do the same. As impressive as “Happy” was, “Careful” exceeds it in almost every measure; it’s more ambitious, more intricate and more impactful than its predecessor.

An allegory depicted in bubbles of activity, the film shows a world that begins in a sort of sustained chaos, flurries of activity looping and repeating. As it progresses, though, a race of faceless humanoids begin to harvest the world around them. Initially they seem to be in balance with the bizarre system, but as they move from enjoying the fruits of their labour to using them as costumes and other adornments, the world starts to break down. The original landscape, all organic circles and flowing lines, begins to shatter. It folds in on itself, stuttering across jagged lines. What was an endless variety of natural wonders collapses on itself, and disappears into nothing.

“Careful” hits with the just the right level of abstraction to make its allegory work. It’s removed enough to avoid feeling like scolding, but pointed enough that its argument is hard to miss. It’s also intricate enough that new details emerge each time you watch it, with new relationships emerging between images that seemed disconnected or even random. Just a sign of how much care went into putting this video together.

Jo Goes Hunting – Careful

dir: Alice Saey

syn: On the borderless map of a magical planet, little beings pick, brush, weave, fish and collect elements from their natural environment to sustain their life as a group.
This essential balance turns to chaos once they misuse their findings to polish their individual appearance.

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