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Night of the Carrots, The

Entry updated 19 July 2021. Tagged: Film.

Estonian animated film (1998; original title Porgandite öö). Eesti Joonisfilm. Directed and written by Priit Pärn. Narration by Frank Boyle. 29 minutes. Colour.

Diego, lover of the round, hater of the angular, arrives at PGI hoping to book a room. A sprawling, architecturally unappealing structure, PGI is a hotel (perhaps also a sanatorium) and, as the queues outside attest, much in demand: getting a room is near impossible. Its current residents – all joined to their room by a plug – include Micheal, a zebra who has managed through willpower (and white paint) to turn himself human, albeit resembling one designed by Picasso (see Shapeshifters). Another is Mikhail, who is investigating why a force randomly pulls him to the ceiling, believing it relates to a "non-linear correlation between chronometry and expanding time and space" (see Physics; Time), though actually it is literal human magnetism (see Imaginary Science). A third occupant is the Great Cellist, a "translucent gelatinous substance" one metre thick, who is connected to the "outside world" by optical fibre cables – this "outside world" being a small inflatable paddling pool filled with coffee in which "a small foam duck was swimming", to whom the cables are affixed (see Perception). The Cellist has prophetic dreams, including one of the PGI being flooded.

The top floor is occupied by ketchup-fixated rabbits ("Only an utter ignoramus could doubt the existence of rabbits.") whose ability to combine Technology with voodoo has made them an international superpower (see Secret Masters). They monitor world events on Computer screens, manipulating them by sticking pins into carrots ... yet this rabbit tyranny is put on hold one night each year when they all turn into carrots. As the rabbits, for ketchup-related motives, flood the PGI, that night appears to be approaching: one rabbit, repeatedly trying to stick a pin into a carrot, can only impale their fingers.

Meanwhile, oblivious to the above events, Diego – having fallen in and then out of love with a German speaking egg – departs.

Fears surrounding the end of the millennium and Y2K were clearly an inspiration for the film, though any allegorical intent is obscure; this Absurdist SF work is memorable and amusing. It won the 1998 Ottawa International Animation Festival's Grand Prize.

The Night of the Carrots should not be confused with Night of the Living Carrots (2011), the Dreamworks animated short about Zombie carrots, which was a spin-off from Monsters vs. Aliens (2009). [SP]


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