Thursday, 18 June 2009

Bruno Bozzetto "Bolero" ("Allegro Non Troppo" 1976)

Checking out Amazon today for a DVD of Bruno Bozzetto's 1976 Allegro Non Troppo I was delighted to find plenty in stock and at a good price. Years slip by so quickly it occurs that some readers of the blog may not know of the work. Bruno's six part classic is a parody of Disney’s Fantasia though as is often remarked, in many ways it beats the original. Parody also suggests imitation and this work is unique. I featured Bruno’s A Life in a Tin earlier in the week in which a man's life is mapped out humorously though with intent. In today’s sixteen minute section Bolero part 1 (Part 2) of the larger movie Bruno covers all of history, evolution itself, from first origins of life as goo oozing out of a Coca Cola bottle, to beings spawned in the ocean, dinosaurs, the ice age, the pyramids, Christianity, skyscrapers. All life as we know it on a remorseless trek forwards, save for the ape who cheats and murders on his journey, in strict time to the beat of Maurice Ravel's music. The use of colour is sumptuous throughout and, despite the satirical edge, there is undoubted beauty in the beasts of old progressing through storms, smoothly animated, drawn with zest and style, surmounting whatever obstacles nature can throw at them or pausing to marvel at the motorways of our modern civilisation; humour too as the animals bump into each other, urinate over the pyramids or run in terror from the sprouting skyscrapers. It is in the inexorable acquisition of less desirable skills by the ape that lies the hard edge. Unpleasant traits of character have the animal bashing heads of fellow animals for hides and shell, or revelling in the murderous havoc of fire. More than a glorious send-up, Fantasia has beauty and teeth, one of the all-time classic pieces of animation. Bruno tells me he is in Sardinia at the present. I'm as envious as it is possible to be but what a promotional shot and the original poster for the movie.

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