Thursday, 10 September 2009

"Le ruban" & "Pandore" (Gobelins 2009)

The second pair of 2009 Gobelins movies commences with Pandore, a most humorous piece in which a young girl on Mount Olympus opens up Pandora's box to unleash a frightening minotaur come genie. Except that he is not terrifying, certainly not to her. Face pulling and transformations roll the girl over in mirth rather than shake her in fear. The beast has to go back to the drawing board to teach the child the meaning of fear and the true relationship between infant and ogre. Like many teachers before him he discovers she is heeding not a word and instead rampaging through his box of tricks. This really is an impeccably made movie, the well crafted characters moving with ease, light and colour changing, the ancient Greece feel sustained throughout and always that sense of exuberant delight animators have in their art as they wreak magic from their own enchanted box. Quite remarkable and congratulations to Marion Stinghe, Meryl Franck, Benoît Guillaumot, Nicolas Caffarel and Elen Le Tannou. If their work was light, the team behind Le ruban have featured a dark episode in a grim period of human life. It is 1960. Upheaval and turmoil abounds in revolutionary China. Landowners and suchlike are despised. One is the victim of a mob who batter him to pulp. Watching over is a young woman masking her horror as best she can. The victim's fading consciousness can place the onlooker as the girl on the bicycle who caught his eye, even as a rather ominous red ribbon trails in her wake. Back in the present the girl's distress is noticed by one of the mob leaders. The realistic styling and graphic violence is such a contrast to the previous film. Le Ruban perfectly communicates that sick feeling one obtains when witnessing violence. Again, standards of artwork and mastery of the technology is intimidatingly high. Thomas Charra, Michaël Crouzat, Kherveen Dabylall, Denis Do and Gabriel Jolly-Monge made a powerful film, as impressive as any student film featured here for quite some time. Two terrific movies then, contrasting in style and, in relation to Tuesday's post, proving la grande école de l'image produces work identified by the sheer wonderful technique of its graduates, whilst retaining a variety of response.

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