"A hiker takes a break from his walk."
Oh The Cow! Is a short film by Italian artist Marta Gennari about how a number of cows change their behavior when a man gets asleep. The short was created during the artist’s studies at French school La Poudrière in collaboration with students from the Conservatory of Lyon.
Situated in a rural location, the film employs non-realistic staging and presents a crowd of cow characters together with one main human character. It places an emphasis on comedy and makes playful use of ambiguity in the levels of subjectivity in narration.
A stylized aesthetic is employed with a saturated color palette, in line with the comedic approach. Colors are used to help distinguish characters from the background.
The camera starts with an establishing shot (long shot) and moves to tighter framing once the man falls asleep. Visual rhythm increases with editing, motion within the frame in combination with music. No camera moves are used. The medium shot of the man sleeping towards the end of the film could be interpreted as subjective narration (i.e. a subjective internal sequence of what the man is dreaming), but it’s intentionally left ambiguous.
What makes the short work so well? Highly creative script, fun and joyful ambiance, tight narration, effective elements of surprise and playful use of levels of subjectivity in narration.