The Red Turtle

1027992-theredturtle-05The Red Turtle is an animated film directed and written by Michael Dudok de Wit and is his feature film debut. The film had gotten a larger amount of publicity for a filmmaker who had only previously made short films due to it being a co-production between Wild Bunch and Studio Ghibli, who actually reached out to him with the idea for the film. I was lucky to see it in the Odeon Leicester Square on the 6th October as part of the BFI LFF.

The film is dialogue free and follows a man who is left on an island after a storm and his individual experiences of him exploring and trying to escape, while he is slowly losing his mind. The film’s animation quality was amazing and the style reminded me a lot of the work of Herge. I also loved the lack of dialogue, which allowed for more focus to be brought to the beautiful soundtrack and sound design, something which Dudok de Wit talked about himself in a mini post qna, emphasizing that the sound design was extremely specific, with the characters breathing even being recorded and added very quietly throughout the film to develop the intimacy of the protagonist and the audience. The lack of dialogue also allowed for a larger focus on symbolism, with the responses to the film surprising him since it’s release due to the contrasting opinions on scenes. One in particular is where the character falls into cavern, unable to escape, leading him to dive underwater and through a hole in the rocks back to dry land. The scene acts as a way to develop danger and getting over hurdles, while also being a way to create tension, however the scene could be seen to symbolize rebirth as the character is coming out into the world again.

I really enjoyed the film overall and i’m excited to see it again in the future.

Screening of Born In Flames plus Masterclass Q&A with Lizzie Borden

Today we got to watch the film ‘Born In Flames’, a 1983 documentary style feminist science-fiction film that explored various issues, that are still very relevant to today’s society, following a fictional rebellious feminist group in a socialist democracy. The film was extremely relevant and used experimental techniques to create an extremely unique viewing experience. When I watched it, at times the documentary nature / found footage style that it was filmed in made it hard to understand if the events were fictional or not, a detail which we learned in a post qna with Lizzie Borden was particularly because the film’s plot was controlled a lot by the actors themselves with some parts being scripted and others being completely real. An example of this is numerous riots where some of them where scripted, although members of the public attempted to join in, and others were real riots which the actors simply joined. At times the visuals would take on an almost montage approach, which I felt was really effective in making the audience think but also developing the idea of how the society worked, and how crowded it could be at times. I would like to watch it again at some point, specifically for this reason as I feel that I would appreciate it even more on a second viewing.