Underneath the bass drops and the electronic harmony of the garage music scene of 1990s Paris is melancholy and loneliness. The parties are bursting with verve and energy, but when the music stops, so does that joy. Hansen-Løve’s examination of a young DJ over the course of twenty years is warm and tender, an incredible look at the pros and cons of following your passion, allowing art to be your escape, and the joy of music.
When I finally got around to seeing Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, the thing I kept saying to people was, “Isn’t it funny that this film needs to be seen in 3D and yet itself does not justify 3D’s place within cinema?” I still hold my “it’s fine” opinion on that film, denying its status as an Avatar0esque game changer, and I thought I’d have to keep searching for that. Luckily, I found it right off the bat at the New York Film Festival: Jean-Luc Godard’s Goodbye to Language 3D redefines not only 3D in film, but quite possibly film itself.
One of the most exciting, complex, and fully realized animated films of the last 20 years is Ratatouille, Pixar’s creative champion to date. The film presents its audience with a patently insane concept—a rat who wants to cook, and become a master of haute cuisine in Paris—and manages to ground every action, every reaction, and every consequence in reality. Not just the reality of the movie, but the reality of the world; when the kitchen staff at Gusteau’s is shown that the gawky young man who took their restaurant by storm is actually controlled, like a marionette, by this sharp, intelligent rat, all but one quit, because what other action would be appropriate?
We are living in a golden age of animation, yet so many people working at Hollywood’s studio-funded animation companies are content working in the realm of the familiar. Too frequently, new mainstream animated films are like a big bowl of soup, with countless flavors that you’ve tasted before tweaked only slightly to not be total carbon copies of something bigger and often better.