21 Jan

Ode to the Book of Kells

movie love, the best bit No comments by K.

The Secret of Kells grabbed me and didn’t let me go. I might have blinked once, maybe twice, during the whole movie. That’s how much I loved it. Colors, patterns, watercolor washes left, right, front and center. The illustration taking cues from the Insular Style it wished to honor.

With a running time of one hour and 15 minutes, this movie is quick and sweet; it keeps you glued to the screen from beginning to end. I think I also had a star-struck look on my face from the rapid succession of excellent animation set on beautifully illustrated backdrops, worthy of adorning the pages of a contemporary manuscript of their own.

For me the best bit was when our hero Brendan defeats the dark, serpent-like deity Crom Cruach, using nothing but a piece of chalk. It was defeat by design, I tell you!

Brendan and Aisling play in the forest

Brendan shows Aisling his first attempts at illustration

Brendan illustrates under Aidan's tutelage

Brendan as Aidan's apprentice

26 Aug

The Belleville triplets triple threat

movie love, the best bit No comments by K.

Viva la decadence! Belleville is where it's at!

Warning: this post may contain spoilers, ramblings and pointless warnings.

I just finished watching the 2003 movie The Triplets of Belleville (Les Triplettes de Belleville or Belleville Rendez-vous) and I still have the bone-swinging opening track swimming around in my head. It’s been there all night. I dreamed about it, but of course I did. Everything that makes an impression on me is dream material. I dreamed of beautifully drawn, life-worn characters performing repetitive, disjointed actions. But that’s just how dreams go sometimes.

What a movie! Absolutely, positively decadent, not like a piece of chocolate on a TV ad, mind you. But dead on at showing you by exaggeration all these sides of our lives that are a touch painful to watch or to think about. The little and big things that push our society to burst at the seams with self-complacency. The more exaggerated it got, the closer to real life it felt.

Muddy colors, obsessive-compulsive actions repeated ad infinitum (dear Bruno, the dog, took the cake here), sad lives that were also brimming with hope inside, it all came together seamlessly. I found it sad, funny and quietly powerful.

And I didn’t have to wait long for the best bit, it was right there: the whole opening sequence. I was laughing, drinking in the sights, snapping my fingers, swaying to the beat, and by the third chorus, singing along. Now I need to own the closing-credits version of the song! Sublime!

And let’s see how much of a threat the triplets are: they can sign, dance, cook toads into a four-course meal, play household instruments with swinging perfection, push a car uphill, bike like a Tour de France champion; all that times three, wow!

(Images from the opening sequence)