I watched The Red Turtle a few days before 2016 ended (and still this wasn’t the last film that I watched, since we also went to “I, Daniel Blake” on New Year’s Eve, but we’ll talk about that another time). It was sweetjaneeyre who advised me to go and I’m more than thankful to her for doing so!
A co-production of Studio Ghibli, Wild Bunch and Why Not Productions, this French-Belgian-Japanese animation by Dutch-British director Michael Dudok de Wit was awarded the Prix spécial Un Certain Regard, at the Cannes’ Festival 2016. It doesn’t come as a shock since this film, multicultural as it is, can “speak” in a universal language, without saying a word.
Haru is unaware of her ability to talk to cats until the day she saves a Russian blue one from a passing truck. As it turns out, this cat is Lune, Prince of the Cat Kingdom, and he offers her tons of unexpected gifts as a thank you. Confused by everything that’s happening Haru daydreams about moving to the Cat Kingdom and marrying the Prince. Due to a cat overhearing her thoughts she ends up as Lune’s bride-to-be! Along with an anthropomorphous cat dressed in a tailcoat, a white insatiable cat with a mysterious past and a crow, Haru gets to live the most unbelievable adventure!
The film’s trailer is available here.
The second and last part of my tribute to this amazing Japanese director:
Hayao Miyazaki is one of my favourite directors: I’ve never been disappointed by any of his films and, although I understand that by creating animated films he has an advantage (since he does not share the same stylistic worries as other directors do), I find his works well-rounded. Having already seen most of his films, I don’t quite know when I’ll get the chance to re-watch and review them. So I’ve decided to write a tribute and share with you a couple of words with regard to this amazing director’s creations.
Belleville Rendez-vous is the first full-length animation film written and directed by Sylvain Chomet. Chomet tells us an original story in which an elderly French woman travels all the way to the U.S.A. alongside Bruno, her grandson’s faithful dog, in an attempt to save the former from the hands of the french mafia. The Triplettes of Belleville, meaning three long-ago famous singers from New York, will help them through this journey.
Having already watched The Illusionist (2010) as well as the delightful animated short film The Old Lady and the Pigeons (1998) I recognize a pattern in Chomet’s themes. The artists’ doubtful future and the issue of human exploitation are treated in a surreal, yet bittersweet and somehow ironic way. I enjoyed wholeheartedly the mockery of the American culture and the hidden intertextual references. The music is also worth mentioning, since it plays a huge role in this almost silent film.
A beautiful mostly hand-drawn animation, that offers everything adults seek in a film.
Available for online streaming here.