Les aventures extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-Sec (2010)

“Les aventures extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-Sec” (2010)

IMDb

diving on a pool

In the same film festival, i watched the 2 newest films of 2 of my favourite french directors working today. Jeunet and Besson have stimulated my cinematic imagination, thus my dreams, with pieces of his previous work. Now, with their newest work, they both took a vacation. It’s relatively worthless from any of the points of view that mattered in what they did before. But in Jeunet’s Micmacs, we’re still left with many of the superficial elements that built his style and made us partially fall in love with his work in the first place: the filtered photography, the use of colours, the insuperable space use, the quirkiness of the world. It was flawed, it was ultimately pointless, even preachy, but its flamboyance made up for the lack of a real content.

Not here. I fear we may have lost Besson as a serious filmmaker. I say more, i think it may have been the cgi that got into his once purely visual way to conceive his shots, that built him a mood, usually used to support a poetic way to see the world, and Besson’s personal obsessions. We had that from an early stage, from Dernier Combat, to the love letter to the ocean which is Atlantis. Léon stands high on my list, for several reasons. Than, in recent years, he’s been working on some animated films, the Arthur series. I’ve tasted the first, and didn’t like it, because the animations are, at most, ordinary by today’s standards, and that fluidity, that flows from the narrative, through the camera, to us, viewers, which has always been the greatest strenght in Besson’s films, was gone. No trace of the man who once was a diver, and took his diving skills to the world of film world.

This Adèle is something that comes after Arthur (or in the middle of it). As a script, as a story, it provided Besson with the same visual possibilities as, say, Fifth Element. Lots of sets, lots of places, action scenes. All pretexts to make the image swing and carry us with it. There seems to be an off-screen obsession with the main actress, and that’s the most valuable element of the film. We see her repeatedly caressed by the camera, that elevates her, empowers her, makes us love her a bit. That’s the good part. But the dinosaurs, the mummies, all that skips Besson’s control, all that is the work of computer experts and, to this moment, it is clear that Besson is still not able to manipulate the animation as he has proved more than twice that he can manipulate the real camera movements. But he seems to be interested in exploring this, beyond his producer’s role. If he succeeds in controlling these tools, we may have something memorable. If he doesn’t, well, than we lost a clever filmmaker. His move now.

My opinion: 2/5

This comment on IMDb

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