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Monday, 20 October 2008

Cédric Louis & Claude Barras "Banquise" (Ice Floe)







Cédric Louis and Claude Barras' Banquise is an accomplished movie that has charmed the international festival circuit since its screening at Cannes in 2006. Young Marine looks at her holiday photographs and surveys her escalating weight on the scales. In a world of constrained waist sizes her own figure is deemed unacceptable not least by herself. So despite the soaring temperature she dons woolly coat and scarf and engulfs her body before launching herself into an escapist daydream of penguins and ice, precisely the sort of climate in which she might hide. The sequences on the ice with that most visual of creature the penguin, or the incongruity of girl in winter garb in a beach world is remarkably well made in a movie of a light touch, though there is undeniably a darker content that underscores the second half of the film. This more macabre side to the movie is despite the cuteness of many of the images. Typically comprising scenes of starfish, red lobster, sunshade and bikini clad sunbather, the animation has whimsy in abundance, with either a yellow hue to the beach or blue-grey for the wintry scenes and a variety of perspectives to always lend interest.The two animators are particularly good in their depiction of the characters: the thin, mini skirted mum, jeering beachball players/ posers/ weightlifters/ sunbathers. Charm in abundance then, usually accompanied by a tiny penguin. Yet the engaging film is ultimately a sad one as the obese girl hides herself away in fridge. Hélium Films, the company founded by the pair has another movie, Sainte Barbe that I shall be taking a look at shortly.





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