The Painting [Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack]
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In this wry parable, a kingdom is divided into the three castes: the impeccably painted Alldunns who reside in a majestic palace; the Halfies who the Painter has left incomplete; and the untouchable Sketchies, simple charcoal outlines who are banished to the cursed forest. Chastised for her forbidden love for an Alldunn and shamed by her unadorned face, Halfie Claire runs away into the forest. Her beloved Ramo and best friend Lola journey after her, passing between the forbidden Death Flowers that guard the boundaries of the forest and arriving finally at the very edge of the painting where they tumble through the canvas and into the Painter s studio. The abandoned workspace is strewn with paintings, each containing its own animated world and in a feast for both the eyes and imagination, they explore first one picture and then another, attempting to discover just what the Painter has in mind for all his creations.
Making Of Featurette; Concept Art Slideshow; Original French Audio Track with English Subtitles; U.S. Trailer
An animated gem, sparkling with a thousand creative ideas! --Studio Ciné
A Wondrous Discovery! --Premiere
Top Customer Reviews
The "plot" of the film is how characters on a large canvas in an artist's studio actually are part of a caste system. There are the "Allduns" (fully finished), the "Halfies" (the characters that the artist has not yet finished) and the "Sketchies" (the ones which are only a pale outline). As a parable on modern society, we see the first group as the "wealthy", the second as the "middle class" and the third as the "downtrodden". Trust me, it will all make sense. You might find yourself - as I was - so enraptured by the artwork (which uses CGI graphics along with - in a few cases - real images) that you lose the story line and have to go back and watch the film again.
Unlike many of the other GKIDS, this film has an English audio track (as well as the original French one with subtitles), this works great.
There are a few bonus features including a 10-minute "Concept Art Slideshow" to a music score and a 30-minute-plus "Making of Featurette". I was really looking forward to the latter but haven't made it through that yet because it is in French with subtitles.Read more ›
But, at least one serious irony inflicts itself, and in multiple ways. The Alldunns, the self-proclaimed higher caste who identify themselves by their fine rendering, elevate themselves above the mostly-finished halfies, and everyone abhors the loosely-drawn Sketchies. Well, declaring yourself superior based on some trait over which no one has any control is human enough. In this case, though, the loose and painterly style even of the Allduns looks like kindergarten scribbles compared to the hyper-realists of the 1970s and 80s, or even to the oil masters of every century up until this. For them to declare degree of finish to be degree of value simply devalues themselves, when taken in the wider context of what painting can be.
And, in a second irony, I think of Rembrandt's etchings. Central characters appear in passionate detail. Just a few inches away, minor character fade out to circle faces, dot eyes, and lines for mouths - if that. Rembrandt used degree of finish as a way to direct the viewer's attention - "Here, this matters, there's a lot to look at." The more loosely drawn characters don't detract from the composition, they define it. They are equal members in Rembrandt's compositions, and I do not feel qualified to dispute Rembrandt's judgement in creating effective imagery. I do feel qualified to defend every level of detail in his renderings - loss of any would be a loss for all.Read more ›
But what happens when a young man of the Alldunns falls in love with a lovely Halfie girl?
Since this isn't a Hollywood film, the story takes some unexpected turns. The young Alldunn is determined to find The Painter -- but when he flees through the Forbidden Forest of the Death Flowers, it's not with his beloved, but with her best friend, as well as a Sketchie. And when they emerge from The Painting into The Painter's studio, some interesting philosophical & theological questions are raised. The love story is a real plot thread, but an increasingly minor one as the film progresses.
I won't spoil the rest of the story for anyone. Instead, let me praise this beautifully animated film for actually making inventive use of computer graphics, not to mention its welcome lack of fleeting pop culture references. The only culture referenced here is the rich history of painting. While certainly an all-ages film, there's no dumbing down for children, who are given credit for being intelligent viewers along with the adults. And the final scene is pleasingly inconclusive & open-ended, as is life itself for anyone who seeks his or her own answers to the Big Questions.
For anyone who wants something different in the way of animated films, this is a fine place to start -- highly recommended!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was required to purchsed this movie for a college humanities course. I must say that in an age where majority of movies are purchased through streaming, it was refreshing to... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Student, Mom, Wife, & Business Owner
Worth watching purely for the animation. A masterful study in both traditional painting and cg animation (plus that last scene - I dare you to find better in Hollywood). Read morePublished 9 months ago by Phil
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