Thursday, September 05, 2013

We May Have Lost Another One

Sylvain Chomet, director of The Triplets of Belleville and The Illusionist premieres his first live action feature, Attila Marcel, at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 6.
“There is something really nice about live action,” Chomet said, having previously made a live-action short as part of the “Paris, je t’aime” omnibus. “I really discovered it while I was shooting, the relationship between a director and the actors. They really bring so much to the film.”

“I was always thinking of live action but came to live action through animation. That was a way for me to get into live action. Animation is filmmaking, it’s the same thing. And you really train as a director when you do animation. You get the eye, the sense of composition and timing.”

“Live action is very similar to animation,” he said, “apart from animation takes ages and live action goes really fast.”
The above quotes come from an article in the L.A. Times.

Toronto's two weeklies, Now and The Grid, both review the film in advance and find it lacking.


Anonymous said...

This is incredibly sad for us animation fans. Chomet and Brad Bird were about the only guys working in feature animation that I could get excited about beside the master Hayao Miyazaki. All we need to hear now is that Nick Cross has decided to scrap animation and open up a bakery.


Torgo25 said...

2013 HAS been a dire year for animation (and, arguably, pretty much anything related to the arts: movies, music, etc.). Sequels to past box office hits (Monsters University, Planes, Despicable Me 2) have been the runaway successes this year, and the "original stuff" (Epic) have been pretty terrible. TV animation hasn't fared much better, with a lot of the really stand-out productions being cancelled after one or two seasons due to being too expensive and unable to make up for the cost with high viewership. The result is the same bland-looking animated productions being forced on the public.

I think Brad Bird was onto something with his work both in and outside of Pixar. I was particularly impressed with the mature themes explored in The Incredibles (suicide, family strife, etc.). It's just too bad nobody attempted to follow his example. It seems whenever someone tries to introduce mature themes into animation, it never catches on. The same possibility opened in the 70's with movies like Heavy Traffic, but again, nothing came of it. And in the 90's, MTV aired shows like The Maxx, Liquid Television, and Aeon Flux, which were more geared towards older audiences but not concerned with low-brow/stoner humor like modern day adult animation (Family Guy, Adult Swim's line-up).

Maybe the animation train is pulling into the station. Perhaps the time has come to put down the pencil (or in most cases, shut down the computer) for good. Maybe the medium has been pushed as far as it possibly can in accordance with what mainstream audiences and corporate suits are willing to accept. Any divergence from the formula at this point would be deemed too radical and scare away the mainstream audiences ("it looks ugly/trippy/weird!").

But I guess animation had a decent run while it lasted, with plenty of noble efforts to break the norm, right?

Unknown said...

Torgo25: I think that the best that anyone can do if they still wanna get into animation is continue to practice and try to come up with new ideas and hope that the climate for getting new ideas out there changes for the better. Some people have brought up Netflix has a viable model for animators to present ideas that the big network execs would be afraid to sign off on.

From my POV, I think there are still quite a lot of untapped stuff that animation has yet to explore. I have quite a lot of ideas myself that I've been working on. The main problem is trying to change the general attitude of people in the animation community and getting them to think more positively about the situation.

Hearing all this bad stuff going on regarding the medium only makes me want to continue to draw more and more in the hope of being able to do something amazing and different than the status quo one day and maybe something that hasn't been done that much in animation at all. People still want to see good storytelling and characters in the stuff they watch no matter what time period we're in.

Anonymous said...

The film is pretty bad. Amateurish,lacking character, with a disjointed plot and weak storytelling. No surprise, really. Spontaneity is not Chomet's forte'.