Sea Dog´s Devotion

"The effect of beauty on a person is that it strikes him dumb"

(Paul Valéry)

Anna Kalus´ Sea Dog´s Devotion strikes its viewers dumb: This silent animation film is wordless, though it is based on words, and develops its form and its theme loosely according to the macabre and subtly necrophilic poem Seemannstreue by Joachim Ringelnatz, in which the first-person narrator tells about burying his deceased bride Alwine in the cold ground, then digging her up, and so on.

Until her flesh was completely
Transformed and runny.
Out. In. Out. I dug for many weeks.
And then thought, Oh, how it reeks.
And her nose had turned to blue juice
From which the threadworms peeked.
Beg pardon, but it was the deuce.
Then down went the slippery bones
And broke just as a million stones.

Anna Kalus´ film is simultaneously familiar and strange: sadly beautiful colors, no, not colors, but reminiscences of colors; sounds of nature (wind, birds, chirping), no, not sounds, but dreams of sounds; movement, no, not movement, but imaginary movements.
Leg bones dangling from the sky ... A sailor pulls the mask of decay from his bride´s face, and beneath it she is as beautiful as ever ... He and his lover ride through the air on a winged steed ... The moon, high in the sky, is plucked and eaten by one of the mourners ... The sea dog wades through the liquid into which his bride´s bones are melting, drop by drop. A photograph is taken to commemorate the event, but the bride´s soul will not permit itself to be captured, escapes and flutters to heaven - poetry in motion, a terribly beautiful bedtime story.

(Bernhard Seiter)

Translation: Steve Wilder

Orig. Title
Austria, Germany
11 min
Anna Kalus
Orig. Language
No Dialogue
Anna Kalus
Anna Kalus
Anna Kalus
Daniel Requardt, Florian Käppler
Florian Käppler
Anna Kalus
Art Direction
Anna Kalus
Available Formats
Digital File (prores, h264) (Distribution Copy)
35 mm (Distribution Copy)
Sound Format
Frame Rate
25 fps
Color Format
Festivals (Selection)
Wien - Tricky Women / Animationsfilmfestival
Poznan - Animator, Int. Animation Film Festival (Best Soundtrack)
Sao Paulo / Rio de Janeiro - Anima Mundi Animation Film Festival
Wien - VIS Vienna Independent Shorts
Hamburg - Int. Kurzfilm-Festival & No Budget
Ottawa - Animation Film Festival
Seoul - SICAF
Montréal - Festival International du Nouveau Film et de la Video
Istanbul - Int. Short Film Festival
Belgrad - Balkanima Anim. Film Festival
Barcelona - L’ALTERNATIVA - II Mostra Internacional de Cinema Alternatiu
Valladolid International Film Festival
Stuttgart - Int. Trickfilm-Festival
Riga - Arsenals - Int. Film Festival
Braunschweig - Filmfest
Leeds - Int. FilmFestival
Berlin - Interfilm-Festival
Regensburg - Kurzfilmwoche
Amiens - Festival Int. du Film
Brest - Festival du Film Court
Berlin -ZEBRA Poetry Award Film Festival
Ankara - Festival of European Film / Festival on Wheels
Espinho - Cinanima Film Festival
Wilmington - Cucalorus Annual Festival of Independent Film
Ljubiljana Animateka - Int. Animation Film Festival
London Int. Animation Festival LIAF
Shanghai Film Festival
Clermont-Ferrand - Festival de Court Metrage (Best Animation)
Bamberg - Kurzfilmtage
Ann Arbor - Film Festival
Lissabon - Indielisboa Int. Film and Videofestival
Melbourne - MIAF International Animation Filmfestival
Toronto - Worldwide Short Film Festival
Valencia - Cinema Jove
Drama - International Short Film Festival
Calgary International Film Festival
Toulouse - Sequence Short Film Festival
Vilnius - Tindirindis International Animated Film Festival
Lille - Recontres Audiovisuelles
Taipei - Golden Horse Film Festival
St. Quentin - Ciné-Jeune de l'Aisne (Jury Award)
Leuven - Short Film Festival
Vendôme - Festival du film
Hiroshima - Int. Animation Festival