By Frédéric Doazan France / 2013
Imagine a game that combines the legendary board game Operation and the endearing paper dolls we used to play with in our childhood. Now, imagine how unpleasant a plastic surgery can be. Put it all together and the result will be Supervenus, by French director Frédéric Doazan, a straightforward criticism to the contemporary concept of women’s beauty.
In as little as 2:38 minutes, Frédéric Doazan achieves to deliver a quick (and creepy) review of the evolution of the concept of beauty in society and how the canons have changed over the years: the idea of eternal youth turned into an unhealthy obsession. Thus, in ‘Supervenus’ we see the hands of surgeon opening an anatomy book where we discover a classic woman’s body. Not satisfied with what he sees, his hands begin to operate, unscrupulously changing the figure of the woman and adapting it to the trends in plastic surgery: elongated neck and legs, sharp cheekbones, thin, wasp-like waist…
This atrocious surgery looks shocking when the film starts, as the animation features some innocent-looking paper dools. Their naivety is quickly dropped when the surgery begins, getting more and more disturbing as the retouches to the body get more extreme. Using real images (the surgeon’s hands) and traditional animation, the technique used is impressive and truly effective, without losing the contradiction between them at any moment.
Without a doubt, Supervenus stays in the audience’s mind because of its strong and contradictory visual proposal as well as for the tough criticism towards the ideal of beauty nowadays. One thing is sure: if you were thinking about getting plastic surgery, after watching the film you will change your mind.