The premise is simple enoughâ€”personify the earth as it deals with humankind’s increasingly annoying presenceâ€”but Jason Archer and Paul Beck have put their characteristic spin on things. Although I dig the work the two of them have done with Richard Linklater on “Waking Life” and “A Scanner Darkly,” I’ve always enjoyed their short films quite a bit, too. I first came across “Homeland Homedown” at Resfest 2004 in Austin (the duo’s stomping grounds), and its surreal blend of satire and absurdity has recurred in all the work I’ve seen since.
Pay close attention to the live action directing in this short. It’s spot on, striking the perfect balance between stage-friendly slapstick and cinema-friendly understatement. You can tell that Archer$Beck have been doing the roto thing for a while; they know just when to pour it on thick and when to throttle back (if you’ll excuse my mixed metaphors).