Utpal Borpujari

May 25, 2009

Uplifting start to the 62nd Cannes Film Fest

By Utpal Borpujari in Cannes

It was an uplifting opening to the 62nd Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday with history being created through the screening of “Up”, a roller coaster animation film from the Disney stable to open the world’s biggest showcase of cinema.

 The decision to open the festival with an animation film, the first-ever time Cannes has done so, may have been taken to counter the gloomy scenario thanks to the ongoing economic recession, but nevertheless, it provided an unusual beginning to the festival that prides itself in promoting independent cinema, and not mega-buck mainstream stuff.

But the organizers of Cannes have mastered the art of marrying art with commerce. So, if it has some of the biggest names of world cinema this year lining up at the festival, it will also like every year else bring in the stars to walk the fabled Red Carpet and thus create a media frenzy.

Disney-Pixar’s “Up” is part of this jugglery between art and commerce, but what makes this film special is that it is also a showpiece for emerging technologies in cinema.

It is a film that boasts of digital 3-D technology, and going by the looks of it, it is going to take the world of cinema by storm. The story of an old man who decides to go on a lifelong dream of going on an adventure to South American jungles, “Up” has visuals that are stunning.

Viewed with specially-made Polaroid spectacles, the film has none of the usual gimmickry of earlier 3D films where objects “fly out” towards the viewer. Rather, here it is more about creating the depth on the screen. You would have never seen such fantastic animation earlier, for sure.

The film itself is typical Disney animation, with an uplifting story that makes the viewer feel good with the experience. And while having fun, the viewer is also subtly told about issues like the need to respect the elderly, the importance of letting wildlife stay in the wild and the shrinking space for individuals in the modern society.

As someone quipped after the media screening of the film hours before the official opening, the film could be a perfect antidote to the gloomy mood resulting from the twin diseases of recession and Swine Flu. More so, since from Thursday onwards, it is going to be really serious business here, whether it has got to do with the screenings or at the film market.

(Published in Deccan Herald, www.deccanherald.com, www.deccanheraldepaper.com, 14-05-2009)


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