Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Home From France + Frozen II

I was invited to go to Lille, France, to take part in an event called "video mapping".  Now, I'd never heard of this term before, however, getting invited to a beautiful French town for an artist's residency to create a "video mapping" sounded good to me.  Upon my arrival, they took me to an old opera building from the 19th century - the plan was for me to check out the building, take photos and then they told me my art would be projected on the front of the building.  Oh, that sounds interesting!

(I do remember a few years ago, I watched films of endangered animals being projected on the Empire State Building to the amazement of Manhattanites - Oh, that's called video mapping!)

The next day, all the invited artists gathered at an artists' studio that had been converted from an old coal mine.  Included in this batch of international artists was Frank Dion, who is one of the greatest illustrators and animators around.  Then there was the great Marc Caro, director of "The City of Lost Children" and the wonderful "Delicatessen".

Working in a (former) coal mine!
It was interesting because all of the other artists were digital creators, working on their laptops.  So there I was, using pencil and paper, storyboards and a lightbox.  All the other artists would gather around me to check out the retro style of my animation.  But even with my old-school ways, I was able to finish my job in the prescribed week, while everyone else was just getting started.

with some of the artists-in-residency
At the closing night party, I was able to sit down with Marc Caro, and he told me a cool story about making and marketing "Delicatessen".  After a successful screening, Marc and Jean-Pierre Jeunet were approached by Harvey Weinstein, who badly wanted to distribute the film - except he stated that he had a list of just a few edits that he would demand.  Marc said that Harvey wanted to cut all of the directors' favorite shots, then Marc told Harvey that if he did that, he could add another shot to the edit list, and that was their names in the credits....

with Marc Caro
All of the video-mapping films will be premiered the night of April 3 in Lille.  So if you're in Lille on that date next year, definitely check it out.  It should be a fun night.

Last night I was invited to watch an early screening of "Frozen II".  Now, quite frankly, I didn't get the great appeal of "Frozen", probably because I'm not a 6-year-old girl.  But I thought that I should check out the sequel and maybe by now it will make more sense.... NOPE!! I still don't get it!

Although there were some beautiful scenes - especially the close-ups - I felt that the story was weak, the characters were clueless and the songs were the same Broadway show-tune crap.  I have two more problems - one, these two films are creating an entire generation of wanna-be princesses.  God help the guys who have to date these brainwashed girls when they hit 16.  Number two, their eyes are so big that I wondered if their eyes were the usual spherical shape.  How do those eyes fit in their little girl skulls?  I mean, what keeps them from popping out?  If you have an answer, please let me know.

Anyway, I give the film a "C".

--Bill P.

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