There is a war out there and two wasted wankers - Odd & Geir - two minor criminals, are right there in the middle of it. Every now and then they retreat to Geir's one-room-flat seeking ... See full summary »
Anders T. Andersen,
Roy Arnie has a dream. One day he will run his own circus and conquer the world. Today, however, he is a stable-hand working in the Circus Stromowski, a miserable Russian big top, run by a hopeless alcoholic fourth generation circus director, Igor Stromowski, and full of useless has-beens and tired animals, which will only perform under the influence of narcotics. Roy Arnie invites his old buddies Gaz and Odd, and their sidekick Flea, to come and work at the circus, and while work is an alien concept to Gaz and Odd, the appearance of an irate criminal who they are indebted to decides the issue. At the circus, Roy Arnie introduces the trio to the star attraction: Jimmy the elephant. Formerly a great sight, but after 20 years at the circus he has become addicted to every drug under the sun. He performs in a purple haze, counting down the days until someone realizes he will be more useful as a set of piano keys. Roy Arnie keeps him going with a complex regime of uppers and downers to ... Written by
This is the first computer animated feature film in Norway's history. By January 2004 it was apparent that the total budget would be three times as originally planned, and the premiere was pushed back a year. See more »
This film is dedicated to Joachim Nielsen 1964-2000 See more »
The problem with modern animation is that the first observations from commentors seem to be about the quality of the animation. It distracts, at least when the film is big budget.
The advantage of this sort of animation for me is that the filmmaker can go further into the extreme, can be more dramatic and large, more risky and imaginative, than the limits of humans and cameras allows. This film means more to me on that account than any of the Pixar projects, and I admire them greatly. But at the end of the day with them, they leave you were they found you, except for their experiments with depth and space.
this instead tries for something deeper, something that matters, the stuff that justifies theater.
The basic spine of this is the filmmaker's brother. He was a performer killed by drugs, like the titular Jimmy. Often violent and pitiful, once you know this fact, the portrayal of the elephant is pretty heartwrenching. Overlayed on it is a vehicle for Nordic humor: stuff an American audience will miss, both because the jokes are beyond us and because the English script is different. There are some engaging episodes here: funny, disgusting, poignant. They are the means used for transporting us, the tricks used to convince us into collaborating on maintaining an alternative world.
Its that world that works for me. Its a mix of the previously mentioned extremes plus three traditional forms. Its a conventional tragedy. Everything grinds toward the inevitable. But its a noir too. There are incredible coincidences brought on by the mechanism of watching. Its a closed world that produces unlikely twists and that captures people in a fate that is for our amusement. And it is folded. Usual folds are simple, with one viewer mechanism. Here there are many viewing agents, each one controlling some element of the noir (except the Norweigians, a joke). Hunters, Laplanders, some Russian circus punks, some animal rights terrorists, and a Moose.
All of these three: tragedy, viewer-incited noir and observer-folding reinforce the story of the lost brother.
This works. Its worthy.
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
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