A starving gendarme, wasting away from hunger, is reduced to grabbing castoff snacks from fat American tourists. When he sees as old woman feeding pigeons, in desperation he hits on the ... See full summary »
A starving gendarme, wasting away from hunger, is reduced to grabbing castoff snacks from fat American tourists. When he sees as old woman feeding pigeons, in desperation he hits on the bizarre idea of dressing up as one, replete with grotesque, oversized head, and passing himself off as one of them! She seems not to notice that he's a bit larger than her other birds - and it gets odder when he invites himself into her flat and gestures for her to make a meal for him. As the weeks pass, he gets fatter and fatter, and as he slips into his delusion, he starts believing he IS a pigeon. One day, he follows her to the kitchen, where he is shocked to discover that her real pet is another woman - dressed up as a cat! Then he realises she's just been fattening him up as a treat for the cat... Written by
Cynan Rees <firstname.lastname@example.org>
If you have ever wondered what Sylvain Chomet, the creator of Les Triplettes de Belleville did before that, then I can tell you: it's this, an entirely characteristic, shorter and considerably darker tale of pigeons and policemen, allied to a cruel dig at American tourists in Paris. The animator's Searle-like style is already fully formed and one or two of the beloved character types from Belleville (the dog, the diminutive mother) appear here too. Vieille Dame is not however merely a dry run for the fully fledged feature, more an extended taster of a unique talent. At only 20 mins it is still worth seeking out and is coupled on disc with three other animations laced with dark humour, although sadly not by Chomet. Only available from Amazon.fr apparently as part of a 50 minute DVD, and without English subtitles - although as only one of the four animation uses language to any extent, and the lesser of these too, this is not a real problem. Recommended.
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