In an old western tavern, the fate of a town is about to change when an outsider arrives and doesn’t have the money to pay for a glass of water. This week’s short shot is focused on the short Western Animation A Long Way From Home (2018), a short animation that blends together influences from both Akira Kurosawa and Sergio Leone.

Akira Kurosawa and Sergio Leone are very well-known and the kind of filmmakers you should definitely have seen films of. Apparently, even one of Sergio Leone’s most well-known films A Fistful of Dollars (1964) was actually inspired by an Akira Kurosawa film called Yôjinbô (1961) .  The directors are more closely connected than you would think at first glance, but while comparisons could be made between A Fistful of Dollars (1964) and Yôjinbô (1961), how would a film look if you would literally combine the styles of both masters in one short film?

Andy Tai and Eduardo Enriquez, the directors of this short film, used influences of both directors to tell a story that felt personal for both of them. Both Andy Tai, who originally  came from Bangkok, Thailand and Eduardo Enriquez who originally came from Quito, Ecuador, moved to New York City to pursue a career in animation. They both had the experience of being foreigners in a big city and they both had the experience of feeling like they were strangers at some point during their life in New York. This experience of feeling like you are a stranger in a environment that feels unknown and alienated at times, is something the directors directly incorporated through the main character being an outsider. The main character does indeed look like a character that could have been part of  an Akira Kurosawa film, while the setting more likely reminds you of Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Western films. The combination of both styles nevertheless works perfectly. It makes for a short that, as the directors describe themselves, starts at a slow pace with a simple conflict.

As the story progresses the tone becomes more aggressive and intense. The climax delivers an epic fight and the resolution gives the audience a twist.

Go on, watch this short already! A Long Way From Home (2018) is a student short film made at the School of Visual Arts in New York.