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The French director of Kirikou and the Sorceress and Tales of the Night is present at the 11th AniFest festival, and talks about his present and future career.

Michel Ocelot is no stranger to new media, and his first still images of the third, stereoscopic Kirikou installment have now been revealed. Yet, as his explains to the Italian historian Gianalberto Bendazzi at the 11th AniFest, he cares for what others have thought "non-professional", cut-out animation and silhouette animation.

 Tales of the Night (review) is the latest paradigm of what Michel Ocelot calls "my style is just the lack of money". Almost unnaturally backlit and shot to make a golden visual feel, yet incredibly pretty, this is an instance of what Bendazzi called "how pretty you dare to be in your films".

Ocelot really dares a lot, and especially about making his own. During Kirikou and the Sorceress (1998), the story of an inventive and adventurous boy in magical Africa, he revealed that even the title was inexplicable to the studio. The subject-matter itself  was initially dismissed by the verdict: "Africa does not sell".

Yet all this worries (including the now infamous hesitation about showing women's breasts in children's film) were supersided by the terrific success of the film - at least in Europe..

Ocelot needs to have his way, and "he is lucky to have been free all his life".  His new project involves (much like Scorsese's Hugo) a trip to cinematic Paris of the beginning of the 20th century, and a host of many cultures and things of interest. It would still be a fairytale, yet a subplot that involves a dark story between mishandling of a woman by certain men will also be involved.

 Michel Ocelot talked at the 11th AniFest, Teplice, Czech Republic (26/4-1/5/12). Go to the official festival page


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