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Rocks In My Pockets by Kristian Sensini (Review)

posted Oct 6, 2014, 1:22 PM by Kaya Savas

Rocks In My Pockets is a small, Latvian animated film about 5 women growing up with various mental illnesses. I think the best way to introduce it is from Signe Baumane’s own words from the film’s site: “'Rocks In My Pockets' is a story of mystery and redemption. The film is based on true events involving the women of my family, including myself, and our battles with madness. It raises questions of how much family genetics determine who we are and if it is possible to outsmart one’s own DNA. The film is packed with visual metaphors, surreal images and my twisted sense of humor. It is an animated tale full of art, women, strange daring stories, Latvian accents, history, nature, adventure and more.” Italian composer Kristian Sensini ended up contributing a simply phenomenal score that is one of the true hidden gems of the year.

The film is really a one-woman show as Baumane acts as director, writer and voiceover to the feature. Since the film is all animation and voiceover it truly becomes a story being told to you, aided with stylized visuals and a score that needed to bring you into this world. Sensini’s score does exactly that. This beautiful score is one of the most emotionally true works I’ve heard all year. There is an organic beauty and personality behind it that shows Sensini managed to capture the stories being told perfectly. The music has its own unique identity that hovers around what you’d expect from Desplat on a Wes Anderson film, but not so stylized. The score has its own quirky personality, and genuinely feels like you’re getting to know a living person. It has moments of beauty, sadness and fun all wrapped in a very engaging narrative. Character themes are easily identifiable and run through the body of the score to give it a feel of progression as we peel layers away to reveal the core. The melodic work is simply in-tune with everything and really lifts this score to be something special. Themes are varied with tempo changes to show vulnerability and weakness. But by the end we see them more on the rise, showing there is hope. The journey ends with a soft emotional landing, and you immediately reflect on all the stories you just heard.

Rocks In My Pockets may symbolize being weighed down, but this score does the exact opposite by lifting the audience to a beautiful emotional state. The score is unique, it has a personality and it feels alive. Kristian Sensini has done way more than add colorful textures, he has taken a very personal film and made it accessible to all of us. Do seek this score and film out, there are still great things being made out there. Sometimes you just have to look a bit harder for them.