Saturday, 3 December 2011

French, typically

I should have known.

I should have known that the French Animation Film Festival would not involve cute, tongue-in-cheek plasticine, à la Wallace and Gromit. It would automatically require animated scenes of male power, rape, orgasm, and death.

But it is French. Meh. I shrug, Gallic style. What elze can one draw in ze cartoon?

Thanks, La Femme à Cordes. I sit squirming while Tiger sensibly covers her eyes. This is acutely annoying, mostly because her continued interest in animation is a prime reason why we are here.

Naively, I see Animation listed in the French film festival catalogue and buy the tickets there and then. I assume we'll be safe; cartoons never deal convincingly with sex or death. Duh. No-one told the French that rule, obviously.

Incidentally, to guard myself against accusations of prudishness (which I probably am; it's my age), I would have hated La Femme à Cordes, even if I carried only the burden of my own adult consciousness into the cinema. It seemed to be a narrative of schlock disturbing images making not much point beyond demonstration of male power, rape, orgasm, and death.

Anyway, enough of that one.

The star of the show, and what captured my eye, was Georges Méliès Le voyage dans la lune (1902), restored as a hand-tinted colour version.

That is one splendid film, and our first science fiction movie, so chew on that, Avatar. It is so gloriously and endlessly worthy of study - not least for the pointy wizard hats and dolly birds gaily waving off the space rocket. And the exploding aliens are simply brilliant. Judge for yourself in black and white.

Now if you have nothing else to do of an afternoon but update your French animation, then try Chienne d'histoire, a story created beautifully with watercolour, illustration and collage - even if it does deal with dog slaughter - and the gorgeous and tender Le silence sous l'écorce. Happiness. Death. Snow. It'll make you cry.

Damn Frenchies.

1 comment:

Nora said...

Animations are not for children. They deal with real life issues and can be quite shocking. Still, I think it's great that you went because, what an experience and what a challenge. It won't be forgotten quickly.