Thursday, 15 February 2018

Film Review | Belleville Rendez-Vouz

Belleville Rendez-Vouz (2003) is a French film directed by Sylvain Chomet. The film Belleville Rendez-Vous is also known under the name The Triplets of Belleville and tells the story of a boy who wants to take part in the Tour de France and is living with his grandma.

Fig 1, Movie Poster

The film begins with a scene of the triplets mid performance. This is all done with rubber-hose animation as the style in reference to the animation used in the time period portrayed. After the opening scene the film continues in a more modern animation style so as to represent the way the show they were watching came from a past time.

Related image
Fig 2, The triplets in Rubber-Hose style
Throughout the film there is little to no dialogue and so the film uses it's art style to convey things. This is done through the use of 'a deliberately antiquated visual style, and Chomet relishes caricaturing the body shapes of his characters - whether it's the overly muscular thighs and protuberant nose of Champion, or the grotesquely obese residents of Belleville.' (Dawson, 2003). The use of exaggeration on the characters allows the audience to understand the characters personalities. An example of this is the way the sons legs are exaggerated to show that he is a cyclist.

Fig 3, The cyclists.

During the film the son gets kidnapped from the race and his grandmother then sets out to save him. This leads the grandmother 'to Belleville, a Manhattan-like dream city populated by obese hamburger eaters, cretinous Boy Scouts, and a diminutive red-nosed French mafia chieftain.' (Scott, 2003). This is the start of a 'world of selfishness, cruelty, corruption and futility -- but it's not serious about this world and it doesn't want to attack it or improve upon it. It simply wants to sweep us up in its dark comic vision.' (Ebert, 2003). Though the film is including a kidnapping that leads to a character being caught in a torture like gambling ring it never loses it's sense of fun.


- Dawson, T, (2003), Belleville Rendez-Vouz, (Accessed on: 15/02/18)

- Ebert, R, (2003), The Triplets of Belleville, (Accessed on: 15/02/18)

- Scott, A, (2003), Nostalgia For a Land That Twirls In Dreams: (Accessed on: 15/02/18)

Illustration List:

- Fig 1, Movie Poster:

- Fig 2, The triplets in Rubber-Hose Style:

- Fig 3, The cyclists:

Life Drawing | 33

Life Drawing | 32

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Film Review | Paprika

Paprika (2006) is a Japanese film directed by Satoshi Kon. It was based on Yasutaka Tsutsui's novel from 1993.

Image result for paprika 2006
Fig. 1, Movie Poster
In the film there is a device, called the DC Mini, that allows the wearer, usually a therapist, to enter the dreams of their patient so they can help to treat them more efficiently. Through the film we follow a therapist called Paprika as she helps people through dreams while the DC Mini's creators search for a missing device. The line between reality and dream is blurred throughout the film as the characters find themselves having difficulty telling the real world apart from the fake. 

Two of the main characters, Atsuki Chiba and Paprika, are slowly shown to be connected until it's revealed that they are the same person. Paprika is thus shown to be Atsuki's projection of herself on the dreams. This is played with later in the film as we see both Atsuki and Paprika interacting with each other and other people within the final dream.

Fresh Eyes: Paprika (2006)
Figure 2, Refleection.
One of the reasons the film was created using animation over live-action with CGI is because some scenes would be easier to show through animation. This is in part due to expense as well as technological limitations. One scene that demonstrates this is when Atsuki is revealed inside Paprika as while the scene may have been possible in CGI it would have been more challenging and expensive to do.

Figure 3, Paprika is Atsuka
The film warps and shift the images seen frequently throughout the film. This leads to fluid transitions between being awake and dreaming as well as showing the slow way fantasies can be found more interesting by people than the reality they live in. During one dream in particular, a parade of inanimate objects are shown. In an interview Satoshi Kon said that 'for viewers to identify with this dream, I chose a parade which makes one think automatically of other common dreams and unconscious states. There are very old characters like objects that are discarded by people today or religious symbols that people have forgotten.'(Pais, 2006). This dream formed a shared dream in which the dreamers are dragged into the dream and lose all sense of themselves outside of the dream world. The mass of objects in the dream 'works to one of the film’s themes, namely that our fantasies, including those opened up by the Internet, are pulling us away from the material world and, perhaps, more dangerously from one another.' (Dargis, 2007). This is further shown in how one of the entrances to the dream world is through a virtual bar one of the main characters logs into. He gets brought into the bar as if he were truly there and interacts with everything as if it were real.

Image result for paprika 2006 detective
Figure 4, Losing Reality.
Reality in the film slowly declines as the film progresses. This begins when Chiba hops over a fence at an amusement park only for it to warp and reveal she was about to hop over a balcony instead (shown in Figure 4). This is the first instance the audience encounters that shows reality shifting in the same way dreams would. This is in the film said to be due tot he amount of time spend within the DC Mini and that the longer spent in there the easier it is to slip into a dream without realising even when awake.


- Dargis, N, (2007), [Online], (Accessed on: 05/02/18)

- Pais, J, (2006), [Online], (Accessed on 05/02/18)

Illustration List:

- Figure 1, Movie Poster,

- Figure 2, Reflections,

- Figure 3, Paprika is Atsuka,

- Figure 4, Losing Reality,