An immersive look into the depths of life and time is brought to us through an animated short film, based on the unfolding of a poem come to life, by Oscar nominated filmmaker Erik Oh. The film is inspired by the passing of Erick’s grandfather, a touchingly personal look at something so inevitable, the passing of time. Namoo translates to “tree” in Korean, a symbolic look at growth and becoming something new as you stay the same entirely. The film is entirely painted by hand by a brilliant team of artists, and the viewer will get to follow the journey of a man from the very beginning of his life to the very end. We see him fall in love throughout time, at first with a painting and then later on with a person, experiencing the highs and lows of love in your life. He learns that nothing is ever permanent and finds himself picking up the pieces that he feels are broken, via the symbolism of a bandaid. At the end of his life he is confronted with the wonders of whether or not he’s content and half with the life he’s led. Can he accept his own morality? What has led him here?
Though Namoo is so personal to Erik, it is also incredibly universal. Every person has wondered if they’re on the right track, if there’s a plan in place for them. This story illustrates that so beautifully, creating such an incredible look at the inevitably of life around us.
Erik Oh Speaks so beautifully and emotionally about his piece, and you can hear in his voice just how much it all means to him. “Oh my god, look at us. Doing art together.” Erik said. “I think we’re all dreaming, aren’t we. In the one year of the crazy lockdown, and here we are together. So I’m so emotional right now. Thank you so much for coming, you know, this is so special. I’ll just keep it short. So Namoo is a story, equally inspired by my personal experience of losing my Grandfather. But it’s been many years, so I’m okay. But we did a unique process, I had to think a lot about life and where we come from and where we go. And you know, again, it is a personal story. But I hope that it’s going to be personal enough that you’ll find yourself in this story. So while following the main character’s life from his first steps as a baby, all the way to this last chapter of his life. So that is Namoo, so without further review why don’t we watch the film now. Yeah, again, thanks so much to everyone who contributed to make this film happen.”
“Namoo is written and directed by my dear friend Erik Oh, who is just coming off of an Oscar nomination for his amazing piece of work!” Producer Kane Lee said, to a crowd that erupted into applause at the hearing of Erik’s name and success. “Erik and I could not have imagined a year ago, even two months ago, that we’d have a premiere celebrated on this rooftop with all of you here, for the Tribeca film festival, the 20th anniversary, in the greatest city in the world. So thank you for being with us. So Namoo, Erik told me about this idea that was deep in his heart for over a decade. We were in Seoul two years ago, at a cafe. And as soon as he told me this idea I new we had to make it somehow. So two years have gone by and it’s been a real labor of love. It’s not lost on us that we created this film entirely remotely and during the pandemic. And literally, this piece is about taking a pause and asking yourself about the decisions you’ve made in life, about the choices you’ve made, about what’s really impacted your tree of life. It’s something that our team felt very deeply about because our world was looking at itself, looking at mortality in a new way together for the first time while we were making this. So there was a form of poetry there that translated into passion and art. So we do hope you enjoy it.”
The premiere was held at Jimmy at the James Hotel roof. The film is being released by Boabab Studios.
Here’s more info about the film here!