or Une vie sauvage
, an Academy Award
-nominated animated short directed by Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis, is about an English Remittance Man
who moves out to the Canadian frontier in 1909
with the intention of becoming a rancher
. He finds himself unsuited to it but disguises this fact in his letters home. Intertitles compare his fate to that of a comet.
Contains examples of:
- Break the Cutie: The main character is presented as a well mannered but rather lazy young man whose upbringing and education have in no way prepared him for life on the harsh Alberta prairie. He starts breaking down from the isolation and homesickness and because he doesn’t properly plan for winter, he freezes to death.
- The British Empire
- City Slicker
- Canada, Eh?
- Canadian Western
- Daydream Believer
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: The faux newsreel at the begining of the film.
- Determined Homesteader
- Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe
- Downer Ending
- Dying Alone
- The Edwardian Era
- Fish out of Water: In the saddest possible sense
- Foreshadowing: The comparisons between the main character and a comet and his neighbor's comment that she's worried about him
- Gentleman Adventurer: What the Englishman would like to be
- Going Native: “I find myself lapsing into the wild life of those around me.”
- Hey, It's That Voice! The actor voicing the main character is the same guy who plays Barmy Fungy Phipps
- Idle Rich: The Englishman and all his polo playing chums
- Mockumentary: All the characters talk to the camera as if they were being interviewed,except for the protagonist
- Mood Whiplash: It starts out as a kind of a spoof making fun of the phenomenon of young Upper-Class Twit s going to Canada to be ranchers but the end of the film is very sad.
- Morton's Fork: In the end, the Englishman can either stay where he is and starve or go out in to the snow and probably die of hypothermia. He does the latter.
- Naïve Newcomer
- No Name Given: We know that the main character has the initials E.T.W., but that's it.
- Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: The train station conducters says this almost word for word about the Englishmen who come out to Calgary
- Remittance Man
- School Marm: "They're wonderful dancers, but I certaintly wouldn't want to marry one"
- Snow Means Death
- Spoiled Sweet: The main character comes from a rich family and never does a days work in his very short life but is genuinely nice
- Surrogate Soliloquy: When the main character can't find someone to listen to him he talks to a dog
- Stiff Upper Lip
- Too Dumb to Live: Not so much "dumb" as totally lacking in common sense.
- Tragic Dream: Of the thrid variety, being a rancher would be totally possible for someone who was more pragmatic and industrious and more suited to life on the Alberta praries
- Understatement: His last letter home
- Upper-Class Twit: The main character and all the other remittance men
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: Aside from the historical phenomenon this fim examines, the inspiration came from the directors English ancestors who came out to Alberta to ranch. The photo at the very end of the film is of Amanda Forbis's great uncle.
- The Western: It’s subtitled “A Western” though it's more of a Deconstruction of the genre