La Maison en Petits Cubes
“La Maison en Petits Cubes” or .” Tsumiki no, ie” (original title) won an Oscar in 2008.
A man finds himself surrounded by an immense aquatic surface that is gradually rising, flooding the city’s urban structures where he lives. Apparently resigned to this phenomenon of nature, he seeks to survive by rebuilding his house in a systematic and planned use of cubic structures.
The first thing on all our minds when we first see this short movie is:
“Why is this old man still there when everyone has already left?’
Early on in the movie, we discover the water is rising in the old man’s part of the world. In that world, he is the only person left.
But this old man is the last one.
REVIVING BUILT MEMORIES
“La Maison en Petits Cubes” deals with the story of an old widower and loner who lives in a city that has been flooded and continues to submerge in water.
The level of which keeps rising, forcing the city’s residents to always build one more floor and move there, leaving, however, a trapdoor on each floor that served to fish.
We can’t help but wonder if he is too poor, or too stubborn, too unruly to leave.
On a particular day, upon waking up, the old man encounters the water on his ankles. And as he did from time to time, and decides to buy bricks and cement to build, no matter the weather conditions. Whether it rained or was sunny, even if it were windy -, one more floor in his house, which he started to build with the help of his late wife while in the city, one could still walk on the green grass.
After the construction of the new floor of his house is finished, the old man returns to the newly flooded level and begins the change with a small paddle boat’s help.
However, when he raised one of his pieces of furniture, his pipe fell into the water and, through the trapdoor, submerged a low level. Not content with losing his favorite pipe, the old man buys a diving suit and dives in search of his inseparable companion, and then begins to relive his memories.
We may have laughed at his insistence in keeping that particular pipe. Maybe it speaks to his inability to change and perhaps why he was still in the same old building, the last to leave.
Human difficulties in Dealing with Life Changes
He just couldn’t bear change. Even with something easy, like a pipe! He would rather don a high-pressure diving suit to retrieve a cheap old pipe than simply buy a new one!
From there, he decides to go back in the past, trapdoor by trapdoor. Diving through the floors of his house that once had Life but still had beautiful memories lived with his wife and only daughter.
Upon reaching the ground floor, the old man opens the door. Upon leaving the house, he observes everything he has built throughout his Life. Looking around, he realizes that he was one of the only Persons in that city who got so far without having to abandon his roots. He noticed that the neighboring houses did not have as many floors as yours.
The old man swims deeper and deeper through his old house, each ‘box’ revealing precious moments of love from his family life.
His Life was built upon many Loving memories.
Every level he built upward is now a priceless gift he opens again. But as he dives deeper through his memories, he sees his grandchildren playing, his wife getting ill, his little girl marrying, his wife having his baby girl.
He continues to go deeper… until younger and younger until he reaches the foundation of his home, which is the profound love he carries for his wife.
The two are seen laying the original bricks of their home together, Through love and devotion to each other.
It is upon the foundation of affections that a mighty tower would be built on unshakable, undeniable, and that would last forever.
Now nostalgic, he returns to the floor of his newly built house, puts two glasses of wine on the table, and, alone, he toasts, thus ending the film. In our opinion, La Maison en Petits Cubes
is one of the best short films we have ever seen. Maybe because it makes us reflect on the memories built day after day, with small cubes whose value often goes unnoticed.
This film is about laying a good foundation in our lives. It is about setting the right priorities and sticking to them. It is about constancy throughout the difficulties and the years.
About the Short Movie
Kusakabe, M., Shin, Y. (Producers), & Kato, K. (Director). (2008). The House of Small Cubes (La Maison en Petits Cubes) [Cinematographic Film]. Japan.
Kunio Kato is a Japanese animator and director who was born on April 24, 1977. He is known for producing the short film La Maison en Petits Cubes, released in 2008. The movie won the Oscar for best film in the category the following year.