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Jeron Braxton’s “Octane” Animated Short at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival

Competition and consumerism amidst the sensation of psilocybin-saturated chaos

Animator Jeron Braxton‘s work acts as a necessary reminder of the value in short filmmaking. The 24-year-old artist returned to the Sundance Film Festival this year with Octane, a psychedelic aesthetic ride coursing on an undercurrent of societal brutality. The selection follows up his Sundance 2018 Best Animated Short win for Glucose. Braxton owns the short film category, but his visual voice is noted in the music world as well—by way of videos for Uzi Vert, Danny Brown, Alt-J, Pusha T and more. His art has stretched from Art Basel to promotions for Netflix’s acclaimed series Maniac. His distinct, absorbing style and socially conscious storytelling telegraph an artist who’ll be important for years.

The core of Octane addresses “the modern commodification of black bodies,” Braxton said, when the film made its world premiere at SXSW and on The FADER in 2018. But nuance reveals layers of societal dissection. “I wanted to highlight how consumption is a very political activity,” Braxton shares with CH. “Octane brings to light some of the darker aspects to seemingly harmless consumerism. The billboards and advertisements illustrate how the black market and free market are more intertwined than the average consumer may understand.”

“Sundance has given my film a lot of good exposure to like minded people in the industry,” he adds regarding festival value. From the festival to one’s computer screen, his six-minute film reaches forward, envelops audiences and shakes their guts. Warbling characters clash with various iconographies in a video game swirl of competition, consumerism and psilocybin-saturated chaos. And we can’t get enough.

Videos and still courtesy of Jeron Braxton


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