When I first learned that Matthew Rankin was crafting a surreal short about Nikola Tesla, I knew I soon would be picking his fertile brain about a utopian scientist light years ahead of his time.
It wasn’t long before we were over at Cartoon Brew discussing free energy, bird love, and why dystopians are marching to the sixth mass extinction.
It’s Hard to Be A Utopian: Matthew Rankin On The Tesla World Light
Matthew Rankin is a filmmaker of emotional impact. It is a particular gift, given that much of his work is rooted in history and communicated through abstraction.
His latest exploration with the National Film Board of Canada, The Tesla World Light, premiered today at the 56th International Critics’ Week, a parallel section of the Cannes Film Festival organized by the French Syndicate of Film Critics.
The film experiments with light painting to explain the last years of Nikola Tesla, the utopian scientist whose vision of free energy, incongruous with 20th century capitalism, led to a love affair with a pigeon as well as a penniless death. It’s a surreal, seamless merge of long-exposure animation, historical accuracy, and abstract art.