Film Review: Tick Tock (Tik Tak)

July 29, 2015 § Leave a comment

Animated short; Written and Directed by: Zeynep Kocak

The early life of the gentle, elderly man at the center of Tick Tock is represented by a wall of photographs. They provide the film’s opening visual, hanging in his living space, featuring groups and couplets of happy, posing folks. The movie then deftly navigates the passage of time in seconds, allowing all of the photos to collect time-lapsed dust, attract some flies, and just generally age gracelessly. The rest of the movie finds our protagonist trying, sometimes desperately, to connect with someone, to recreate even a fraction of the company he once kept.

There is no spoken dialogue in this animated short, just a comforting and occasionally poignant score and, more often than not, the constant and consistent sound of a clock tick-tocking away. The elderly man decides, after watching potential renters show up on the doorstep of his neighbor, that he should consider renting part of his place, just for the company. He hangs a sign and, when no one bites, he begins the onerous task of tidying a space made dull and filthy after years of neglect and lack of social circles.

At last, convinced that he has cleaned and polished appropriately and created an area worthy of tenants, the elderly gentleman tends to himself. He puts on a suit and combs his hair. He sets out coffee and cookies. And he waits.

Tick Tock is a lovingly-drawn film, full of empathy and bittersweet sentiment. All tasks in the film, including that of simple functionality, are accompanied by the sound of the clock. And while the lack of company (and the desperation for it) are sad to watch, one wonders if the real message has more to do with finding joy in the mundane. Or at least appreciating the ability to exist within the day-to-day. I’ve watched the film a couple of times now and, while the tick-tocking is tough to navigate the first time around, it eventually becomes a natural part of the environment, floating breathlessly in the background. It’s almost completely unobtrusive until it’s not, reminding the viewer that the passage of time isn’t an insignificant thing.


– Leah Gehlsen

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