Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles

While I was in Annecy this June, one of the films high on my watch-list was "Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles", a French and Spanish production.  However, because of my busy schedule, I sadly wasn't able to catch this animated feature film there. However, now that it's been released in New York, I went with Signe Baumane to go watch the film last night.

First off, the graphics are very nice, if a little understated.  There's a very simple and monochromatic color palette, and limited detail that actually looks very beautiful.  But the main problem for me was the story.  Essentially, it's about Luis Buñuel's trip to the poorest village in Spain to make a documentary.  The problem was that there was no big conflict, or any urgency to push the plot forward.  It was very matter-of-fact, day-to-day sort of storytelling.  And at the end, we find out the producer was in fact an anarchist, and was killed by Franco's soldiers - now, there's a story for you.  Why didn't they put THAT in?

The other problem is that the film is supposedly about one of the greatest surrealist filmmakers, and the big poster promoting the film is a wonderful image influenced by a Dali painting.  So, I expected lots of cool surrealism and wild imagery - sorry, no luck.  There was only one other scene with brief surrealism - what a dud.

Yet, it's still a fine film to watch, because the animation is done well and the tale about Buñuel's early years is a true story.  I give it a C+

I've also included a cartoon for this week below.  Thanks for tuning in!

--Bill P.

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