Wednesday, 6 October 2010
"Maternelle" Guilhem Salines, Jean-Bathiste Bister, Matthieu Gouget de Landres & Marine Perraudin (2010)
I remember my first day at school well enough. It was not a nightmarish experience in any way. My older friends reassured me from the adjacent playground and we mixed oil paint with water. Innocent days! Not so now. Maternelle was made at the Georges Méliés School in Paris by four of those talented French students they seem to breed there: Guilhem Salines, Jean-Bathiste Bister, Matthieu Gouget de Landres and my 22 year old correspondent, Marine Perraudin. Childhood allows a rich resource for animated films though seldom this nightmarish. All commences well enough as our little boy accompanies mummy to the school, only to be drawn to those dark tears in the walls where lurks who knows what. Naturally the adults and, in fact, the other children, are unaware of anything unpleasant but our boy is inquisitive. That tear in the paper is helped along a little. But surely my friends across the channel are well intentioned, compassionate people, sensitive to the fears and foibles of tiny folk. Fooey! I’ve lived a sheltered life. The bright artwork is appropriate for a light tale of childhood, the kid having large blue eyes, there being other colours a-plenty. I used to love those pools of brightly coloured balls into which I’ve dipped my kids in my time, never suspecting that at their base lies something visceral and altogether unpleasant. No fears though, mummy and teacher are always at hand to help, aren’t they? At a time, in the UK at least, when our family tax credits are in jeopardy maybe this is the moment to sample a creepy bit of film-making. Do visit the talented quartet's website.