Stunning stop motion animation and pretty embroidered book covers make Spike Jonze's latest project look both gorgeous and gruesome. Just imagine the poor, pricked and bruised fingers of Olympia Le-Tan, who's been making a name for herself with intricately embroidered bags and clutches fashioned out of felt and made to match like classic book cover designs. For the vintage book fetishists out there, Le-Tan's collection of handmade objects are something to lust over, and starting at about $1,600 a piece, lusting is about all you'll be able to do. For everyone else, her animated collaboration with Jonze starring a joyful felt skeleton dancing around a bookstore populated by Le-Tan's book covers and then falling in love is something to watch--maybe several times--during your lunch break. (Pro tip: Watch the credits.)
Though the video clocks in at about five minutes, the video took 18 months to make. Jonze originally approached Le-Tan to make a tapestry for him based on the iconic Cather in the Rye book cover. Based on the price of the bags, we're guessing that would've cost a five-figure sum, depending on the size, but she offered to trade some her work for the chance to collaborate on a film project instead. It doesn't sound like a bad deal for Le-Tan given Jonze's tendency to attract attention from the indie cinema elite not to mention bloggers with arty sensibilities. "We worked on it as a side project for about a year and a half, on and off," Le-Tan told the culture blog Nowness. "Cutting up all the little felt pieces was really intense and took about 3 months non-stop. I think there were over 3000 pieces. Then our animators turned it all into a movie. They worked night and day for 2 months."
Le-Tan goes on to explain how it was Jonze's idea to the short a love story starring characters from two of the books, and Simon Cahn, a long-time collaborator with Jonze, helped write the script. The wistful nature, she suggests, came from her. "I am definitely a star-crossed lover and a hopeless romantic, she said. "Which probably explains why I am still single."
You can check out more of Le-Tan's book cover designs at Spike Jonze's blog We Love You So.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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