French animation has always been in a class of its own and this little short – free on Vimeo HD – does nothing to dispel my admiration for their mastery of the art form.
There’s a nice marriage of music, sound and cinematographic form evident right from the opening frames: the mood and scene is set with a breezy tune punctuated by occasional peals of girlish laughter as the camera tracks languidly across a lawn on a nice summer day; the deft hand of the director/cinematographer is revealed when the main character glides into shot in beautifully rendered perspective – not to mention the shape of the girl who holds the main character in thrall (suggested by simple lines and blocks of colour and artfully depicted in a glorious, euphoric slow motion haze).
The movie then goes on to unveil different moods through tweaks of music, colour, shape and sound, and create tangible, dimensional characters through simplistic (but not simple) renderings. I love the fact that the narrative drifts from whimsical, dreamlike emotion to a sense of foreboding and real emotional danger within the same short work (not unlike another favourite animated work of mine – The Incredibles) without feeling forced or contrived.
Stand-out moments: Gary ‘adrift’ in the sea of hair; sound inside the dark man; the rendering of the lips for ‘the kiss’ (the dream one at the start xD).
You can tell I liked it, can’t you?