Madagascar, carnet de voyage (2008)

“Madagascar, carnet de voyage” (2009)



official site of the film


First, a critic to IMDb. I’m writing about a film which was screened 2 days ago in a festival considered by IMDb, and according to the film’s site, it has been screened in other festivals already. From IMDb, i hoped they’d be faster listing it.

What an interesting experience. I’m still dealing with this little film, days after i saw it. There is a non complexed attitude towards the chosen medium, the animation techniques, and the very look that is intended for the film, all of which captivates me seriously. And, like in the films i most admire, and which i consider deserve being watched repeatedly, there is a coherence between structure, form, and content, which is quite rare and always to be praised. At the same time, in this film like in many other short animations, the creative roots of the involved minds are in areas other than cinema which, in this case, is a good thing. That is because, behind films like this, we don’t find any formal compromise, nor formatted heritages caused by over exposition to other works. In this case, the formal “vices” are fully related with the drawings. Those drawings are the reason for this film to exist. They are the work of a talented artist, in front of the blank sheet, someone who knows how to work contour and waterpaint, and who could successfully transport the spirit of both kinds of drawings to the animated film.

But what interested me more here was the attitude assumed probably during the voyage that originated this film, and which was transported to the drawings made about it (and to the photos!) and finally got stick to the film i’m commenting. All the film has a provisional character, has if it was being improvised, work in progress, opened still. Every sequence, aswell as the conexions between them, seem to be informal, almost casual. Now, it is possible that a carnet de voyage, the real one, in paper, has genuinely those informal characteristics, because the carnet happens with the voyage, with the unpredictabilities of a trip. The voyage happens, simply, and drawings get built, “naturally”. But transporting that inquisitive spirit of a traveler, and the resulting spontaneity to a film, which obviously carries months or even years of preparation and execution, is something very tricky, which i enjoyed here.

The trick here is, i think, is the adicional plasticity that the director can add to the drawings. Those subtleties that allow us to get in the contours, and see animated characters in the waterpaints. And a very interesting aspect, aswell, is the facto that several times the film accuses the fact that we are actually not watching a film, instead we’re visiting a personal journey. That fact is many times assumed, when we see the side metal that holds the sheets, or the cover of the notebook, or pages turning. I’ll want to rewatch this film.

My opinion: 4/5


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