Saturday, 23 May 2009

Sarah Van den Boom "That's Nothing" (1999)

Sarah Van den Boom made her graduation movie That's Nothing at Paris' Ecole Nationale des Arts Decoratifs. It has no subtitles and might best be referred to by its French title, C'est rien. Those whose French is, like mine, little better than schoolboy will not find undue difficulty following the narrative however. It concerns the dreams of a very sick boy whose escape from his bed is via his imagination. Those whose knowledge of Sarah's work is down to her beautifully drawn Novecento Pianiste (there is a direct link to the movie on her website) will doubtless be prepared for the style of her work, founded essentially on a natural talent as an artist as, again, a visit to her website will testify. As the boy hides the medicine he retreats into his own world, along lonely roads, hillsides, circled by orange fish; he meets with an adolescent boy with the same hair colour, a boy who will visit him at his home in a moving, poetic finale. Piano music by Pascal Zavaro adds to an artistic mix. Yes, it is sentimental and no apologies for that. And Sarah is wonderful at faces! She sent me some artwork showing the backgrounds for Novecento some time ago and honestly they were breathtaking in their detail. Like so many of the world's most recognised animators, Sarah freelances for Acme Filmworks, a visit to whose site is well recommended and indeed overdue here.


Sarah said...

Oh, thank you Ian, that's very sweet of you! Well, this is a very old film, my first one, made at school, and if I still like some parts of it (like the animation of the end,) I have a very critical, uncomfortable feeling about the whole thing. It has to be seen as the first steps of a child... indulgently! :-D

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