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.
Les Revenants(2010) Best TV series that I watched in 2016 and, well, in general. Loved the direction, the photography, the acting and one of the most engaging soundtracks ever created by the amazing Mogwai.
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.
The Illusionist is the second animated film directed by Sylvain Chomet, who gained recognition in 2003 with The Triplets of Belleville. The film is based on a script written by French mime, director and actor Jacques Tati in 1956. The script is considered as a letter written to his eldest daughter whom he had abandoned when she was a baby.
The plot is about an illusionist, Tatischeff, who is struggling to survive by performing here and there at a time when artists such as mimes, clowns and magicians have been sidelined by the domination of new technologies, like the radio and the television. While performing at an isolated Scottish village, Tatischeff meets Alice, a young, naive girl. Alice, believing that the magic tricks are actually real, will follow Tati all the way to Edinburgh. From now on we are watching the peculiar relationship that is born between them: Tati, somehow as a long-lost father, is desperately trying to keep up with the fairy tale which Alice, his modern Cinderella, believes to be true.
A sincere, bittersweet film that will not disappoint you, as long as you are in a mood of diving in a magical world which pretty much resembles ours.