Friday, 22 June 2007

Peter Lacalamita "The Red Kite"

The giant stone Eagle and the Lion stand sentinels on a barren planet full of angular rocks that spike the sky. Into this world emerges a child flying the red kite of the title. Such innocence can be misinterpeted by the super powers and madness is only a pull of a lever away. This is the scenario set out in the latest movie, "The Red Kite" , by Canadian illustrator and animator, Peter Lacalamita. There is an interesting epitaph to the movie in the words of Barbara Tuchman, the American historian and author, whose observation about the causes of war form the basis for Peter's work. This is not the quotation he uses from Tuchman's work but I liked it: “Rome had Caesar, a man of remarkable governing talents, although it must be said that a ruler who arouses opponents to resort to assassination is probably not as smart as he ought to be.”
Back to the animation. For those who have seen Peter's excellent "Moonstruck" this animation has some parallels. First it is set on a planet that is decidedly not the earth and second it ends in disappointment, an explosive disappointment to be exact. Then there is the quality of the drawing. Unlike "Moonstruck" it is in 3D. This gives depth and perspective though Peter's sheer artistic skill in 2D was a delight in the earlier work. Finally I should point out the excellent original music by Anthony Delduca. This is more orchestral than the electronic accompaniment to "Moonstruck", more film-like. "The Red Kite" is an allegory and a thought-provoking one at that. For example, my class this morning noted the symbols of the Weimar eagle. The link is to Peter's version of a movie yet to be placed on his site.

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