Rabu, 30 Maret 2011

Seong-kang Lee - Mari iyagi AKA My Beautiful Girl, Mari (2002)

My Beautiful Girl, Mari tells the story a young boy, Namoo (or Nam-woo) who lives in a sleepy little sea-side town. After the death of his father, his mother takes on a new boyfriend, his grandmother is quite ill and his best friend, Jun-ho is about to leave to go to senior school in the big city, Seoul. The carefree days of childhood seem to be coming to an end, life seems to hold many changes in store and Namoo is having difficulty dealing with this. He discovers a magical marble in a toy store which, when he visits the top of an old abandoned lighthouse, transports him to an enchanted fantasy land where he floats on clouds, rides on the back of fantastic creatures and meets the mysterious, ethereal girl called Mari, who floats tantalisingly just out of his grasp.

The film beautifully and subtly captures that confusing period of adolescence, the growing awareness of the adult world, the attraction of girls, the loss of innocence and fear of the changes that life holds in store. The discovery of a comfortable, safe enchanted world, opened up to Namoo from the top of an old lighthouse is used as an expression of their desire to retreat from the worries, fears and insecurities of adolescence. A Freudian psychologist could have a field day with the material presented here. It’s a theme that has been well-explored in film, from The Wizard of Oz to Labyrinth, but My Beautiful Girl, Mari will strike a chord with an older audience because of the perspective it takes in looking back at childhood from an adult’s point of view.

The animation is superb. Using the most basic software tools, Macromedia Flash and various Adobe products (Illustrator/Photoshop etc.), My Beautiful Girl, Mari, while never likely to challenge the output of Pixar and Dreamworks, shows that fresh, independent and original computer animation can be produced outside the major US animation studios. It avoids (perhaps through necessity) attempts at photo-realism and instead creates a world that is like a mixture of Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbour Totoro (with its glorious evocation of childhood and nature) and Richard Linklater’s Waking Life. All black outlines have been removed creating a soft, smooth cell-animation style that blends perfectly with the 3D effects that are used throughout. Subtleties however have not been sacrificed for simplicity and there is some superb play with light and clouds and clever simulation of underwater effects.

no pass

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