Monday, 13 October 2008

Gaëlle Denis "Fish Never Sleep"

In Fish Never Sleep, Gaëlle Denis tells the story of Naoko, a young sushi chef, living near the Tokyo fish markets. She works chopping fish all day and keeps a goldfish in a bowl. The only thing she finds it hard to do is to sleep. After several insomniac scenes, and many fish heads being chopped off, the girl is led to the question, do fish ever sleep? A mixture of computer generated images and scanned hand drawn images, the movie has a variety of styles. I noted the use of red and white, and its links to the Japanese flag and there was a haiku flavour to the narration that again emphasised the Japanese links. Sometimes quickly sketched, at other moments more design led, the film induces a dream-like quality. Gaëlle attended Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, though the movie was made in 2002 when a postgraduate of London’s Royal College of Art, where she also went on a four months exchange visit to Kyoto University of Arts, which accounts for the Japanese flavour. The movie won the 2003 BAFTA Award for Short Animation, amongst other awards. Her 2004 City Paradise, for Passion Pictures has also been much applauded. She is presently working in New York on a commercial for Dupont. An earlier commercial for United Airlines was featured here a few weeks back.

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