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No. 179: Sylvain Chomet

Very recently a friend introduced me to the animator, illustrator, writer, director, BAFTA-winning and Oscar-nominated Sylvain Chomet. In the past week I have spent far too much time Googling him and illegally watching his movies. This guy is brilliant.

Born in Maisons-Laffitte in the banlieue of Paris, he started his career drawing and writing print comics. His first feature-length animated film, Les Triplettes de Belleville was nominated for two Oscars in 2003. This was followed seven years later by his next animated film L’Illusionniste (loosely) based on a 1956 script by Jacques Tati about his flawed and troubling relationship with his daughter. It tells the story of a struggling magician and a young woman who idolizes him.

Both films evoke mid-twentieth century French society and are quirky, especially Les Triplettes, which might be more accurately described as a bit on the creepy and Tim Burtonesque-side. While L’Illusionniste is also quirky, it had moments for me that reminded my of the animated film Up – at least in the way it deeply stirred my emotions.

A couple of weeks ago, the Simpsons (an animated American television show, in case you’ve been living under a rock…) gave Chomet the green light to direct the animation for the opening couch scene and add a Gallic twist…cue the snails, force-fed geese, accordion-playing Lisa, and the notoriously high-waisted men’s pants. Take a few seconds to see what I adore about Monsieur Chomet and let me know what you think about him.

 

Vocabulaire

banlieue: suburb

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Love Chomet, love The Simpsons and loved this piece. Thank you 🙂

    March 24, 2014
    • You’re welcome. First time I saw it (the Simpsons couch intro), it made me laugh out loud. Watch it a few times there are some really clever and funny bits you might have missed the first go around. Thanks for commenting and stopping by.

      March 24, 2014
  2. That intro to the Simpsons was great! We weren’t expecting it and had a good laugh, watching saying, “is this happening?” Good times! Going to check out more of Mr. Chomet – thanks for the info I didn’t know of him!

    March 26, 2014

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