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The Captive (1988)

La prisonnière (original title)
Two kids travel to a city where silence is kept sacred.

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(screenplay), (comic "Equinoxe")
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Two kids travel to a city where silence is kept sacred.

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Let it Flow
11 March 2008 | by (Denver and Copenhagen) – See all my reviews

This short animated film from Rene Laloux opens with a distant, almost alien narrator informing us that "we've discovered a bizarre story...of two orphans who flee a world stricken by war and death...across an ash desert...to reach a city whose inhabitants have become guardians of silence" "Noise is chaos" says one of the so-called priests of this city, and "silence is order and harmony".

The meditative, atmospheric, percussive qualities of the soundtrack complement the mystical disappearing/reappearing figures of this city, which presages similar elements and moods found in 'Spirited Away'.

The animation style is comparable to that of Laloux's 'Gandahar', although some of the more psychedelic and primitive artistic qualities are more reminiscent of his 'La Planete Sauvage'.

Laloux's trademark disjointedness or "schizophrenic" style of cinema is still in tact, leaving things nicely open for interpretation. A few stunning sequences also appear, as a brilliant snowfall sequence set against the ebb and flow of some fantastic foreign ocean soon transitions into a surreal scene involving a beached whale and the erotic mysteries dwelling therein.

With the full moon shining brightly and the tide rising quickly, the two orphans are accompanied by the city's shadowy prime-mover/prisoner as they sail away at dawn. "Fortunately, order and silence don't always prevail in the end"...


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