Sunday, April 22, 2012

Essential Viewing: René Laloux's FANTASTIC PLANET





Fantastic Planet (aka La Planète Sauvage) is a 1973 animated science fiction film directed by René Laloux, production designed by Roland Topor, written by both of them and animated at Jiří Trnka Studio. I first heard about it years and years ago, when I stumbled across another bizarrely awesome animated French science fiction film, Light Years, but at that time the Internet was not the wonder of opportunity and streaming of everything that it is today.

Just last evening, a friend of mine on Google+ embedded it there. I was in a position to watch it but couldn't have the sound on so, remembering that it was a story with little dialogue, I decided to just let it play with no sound and try watching it as though it were a silent film. It holds up beautifully that way, a testament to the filmmaking team's talent for visual storytelling.

If you've never seen this great film, take some time (it's not much longer than an hour) and click to embiggen. It's a gloriously weird, somewhat sad but always fascinating piece of film history.

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