Thursday, 24 April 2008

Luc Perez "Shaman"

I normally post reviews of movies I have viewed in their entirety. In the case of Luc Perez’s 2008 Shaman I can only link to a four minute sequence from the 11 minute movie. This however should be enough to whet one’s appetite. It is a mystical story told in flashback concerning the attempts of the young Innuit boy Utaaq to train himself as a Shaman in order to defeat a Tupilak, an evil monster terrorising and killing the hunters. The victory is given added poignancy because we see the action from a future in which the boy has grown to manhood and is riddled with consumption. The actual sequence covered in the extract reveals Utaaq fishing in the frozen land, and enduring the ordeal of climbing into the mountains. Graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts in Lyon in 1986, Luc moved to Denmark in 1997 where he has experimented with acrylic paint scanned into 2D software. The result is fluid, distinctive animation with some ravishing depiction of the Innuit landscape. The flickering and striking imagery, strong, vibrant use of colour together with the subject matter suggest it will do well in the international festivals. Shaman is a joint Denmark/France production for the film company Dansk Tegnefilm. Like most of the movies I am featuring this week it is short-listed for Annecy 2008. Luc's technique is also used to marvellous effect in Underground Railroad Cincinnati’s National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (the clip is taken from Acme Filmworks showcase.) The dramatic animation from the museum depicts the grim days of slavery in which a young black man flees from a ferocious dog through the swamps. Such style and technique is of the finest quality.

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