An extraordinary cut-out-and-move adaptation of all three of Jarry's Ubu plays. The characters are caricatured almost to abstraction- in the opening scene Ma Ubu is even depicted as a bug, Pa Ubu has a massive jaw and a microcephalic brain case. The speech is distorted French- even French-speakers benefit from subtitles- and accompanied by deranged parodic music. The distancing effect of obvious caricatures helps us to watch Jarry's monstrous characters with aplomb. The first forty five minutes or so is an straight adaptation of Ubu Roi, with Ubus as the Macbeths of Poland; what is interesting- and in some ways unsatisfactory- is the combination of Ubu Enchaîné and Ubu Cocu together. In some ways these are more interesting than the straight parodic Ubu Roi- especially Ubu Enchaîné with its examination of freedom and slavery and the desire for either- but pushed together like this they move too quickly and are not as effective as they could be. However, the skill of drawing and animation are always worth looking at even if the plot depiction is a tad unsatisfactory. All the same a rare and interesting treat. If you get the chance to see it, do so.
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