Saturday, November 28, 2009

quick bit

On my way out, but just quickly:

"INTERMISSION" is now up, this one is about Ignmar Bergman:

Also, if you get the chance - DON'T skip "Fantastic Mr. Fox." Ignore the underwhelming, slapstick-heavy trailers. It's a beautiful little romp of a thing, possibly the best thing Anderson has been involved with since "Rushmore." The notion that Anderson directed this "hands-off" by email is baffling once you see it - it looks so completely and utterly "him" from the titles to the colors to the staging... even the tiny little costumes on the animals. And there's a random exchange about songwriting that I know I'll be quoting for the rest of the year.

The main thing I was unsure about was the risky decision to use deliberately fake-looking puppets an animation. The "sets" all look exactly like sets, with visible joints and brush-strokes, you can see the "fingerprints" of the animators in the real-fur animal characters (when a pregnant Mrs. Fox is said to be "glowing," the next cut replaces her with an internally-lit double clearly made from painted plastic) effects are accomplished using cotton for smoke, cellophane for water and the barest hint of rotoscoping... even the cinematography is stage as though shot by a camera that can only move in 2 directions - in, out, back, forth - at any given time. Topping it all off, the animation itself avoids smoothness at all costs - it looks as though the puppets were moved only ever-OTHER-frame.

But the ultimate effect is really hypnotic. The "trick" is that it's all about the details. The puppets are astoundingly detailed - the animals have tailored clothes, real fur, rows of realistic teeth, expressive faces and eyes that not only have pupils but irises - and intricately animated: Lips curl back over teeth, tongues move to enunciate and whiskers twitch in-sync. A minute or two in, it clicked for me: Anderson has always been fixated on cinematic artiface - look at the lovingly-obvious water-tank shots in "Life Aquatic," or the unmistakably-unreal animated fish in the same. An amazing amount of work went into "Mr. Fox," and he wants you to SEE that work happening.

Gvie it a look.


Moshi said...

Sorry, too furry for me.

Micheal Savage is awesome said...

There is no way I am seeing mr fox cause it reeks of poorly done stop motion, plus the stench of fail humor

blockmangamer said...

Damn, what's with all the hate. Give me

Watched Mr. Fox with a friend on Thanksgiving and give me articulated, detailed, vividly-executed, stop-motion furballs over overhyped, ugly, distorting, CGI crapfest any day of the week. The movie has a smooth, light-hearted, fun-to-watch pace but rat's final scene sorta set things a bit off.

Bottom line: Don't bitch cause it's different.

party bus said...

I love animated movies.......

Crystal said...

Love Wes, loved Mr. Fox.
I live in Great Missenden (roald dahls place) and he was here, writing it, and for the press, for a while..
the opening week in the UK was the most exciting week of my life :P
I hope people don't avoid it for all of those reasons involving unrealistic animation.. or the whole polanski support thing.. it's a well made and well thought-through film and that should be all that matters.

FistfulOAwesome said...

Is it time that I violate my "Don't watch anything by Wes Anderson" rule?

Anonymous said...

^^ Most deffinitely. You're missing out on a vital part of cinema D: