Paprika

Paprika

Paprika
par Satoshi Kon réalisateur de Perfect Blue

Un des avantages à être, tel le lapin, très en retard sur le calendrier des sorties des films, c’est que je peux simple­ment les ramasser en DVD quand l’envie me prend. Je me retrouve par contre à écrire un billet quatre ans après Alias, et une année après le décès du réalisateur, qui avait laissé écrit une dernière lettre très émouvante.

Il n’est pas rare que je voie des films où la trame est raison­nablement cohérente, mais les où le comporte­ment des person­nage n’a guère de sens. Au premier abord, Paprika, le film de Satoshi Kon, entre dans la catégorie inverse. Les person­nages sont cohérents, mais la trame est complète­ment éclatée, et pour cause : le film traite des rêves. L’équipe qui a développé une machine permettant d’entrer dans les rêves d’autrui en a égaré un prototype, et rapide­ment rêve et réalité se fondent, il faut arrêter une parade de frigos encadrée par une fanfare de grenouilles. On pourrait quali­fier ce film de huis-clos à effets spéciaux. Si l’imagerie onirique et les transitions entre les différents rêves sont une merveille, le centre du film reste les protagonistes : trois membres de l’équipe de dévelop­pement, le directeur de l’organisation, un policier et la mystérieuse Paprika. Leurs inter­actions, leurs passés et leurs rêves sont le centre réel de l’histoire.

J’ai beaucoup aimé ce film qui traite d’un sujet (les rêves) qui me tient beaucoup à cœur. Les premières minutes sont littéralement une explosion d’idées et de trouvailles visuelles et il faut un peu de temps pour que la profondeur de la trame s’établisse. La qualité visuelle du film était suffisante pour que je regrette un peu de n’avoir pris ce film qu’en DVD, pas en Blueray, et j’ai déjà acheté la bande son. Bref, un film que je recom­mande chaudement pour ceux qui aiment les films un peu différents, et une inspiration notable pour rêve de Dragon.

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How to live safely in a science fictional universe
Charles Yu

How to live safely in a science fictional universe

How to live safely in a science fictional universe
Charles Yu

Just looking at the cover of How to live safely in a science fictional universe with its pattern of retro-futuristic guns (I nearly missed the dog), and reading the back-cover of the book, I knew that this gift would be a great read. The story revolves around a time-machine repairman, called Charles, who tries to find his father who is lost in time…

This book is quite complex, with the convoluted structure one can expect from an author that quotes Gödel, Escher, Bach as his favourite book. The chronogrammatical vehicle that Charles rides is not so much a time machine than a literary device that lets him explore his past, his regrets, and the various boxes that enclose up our lives. The writing is an interesting mix of geeky science fiction and deep melancholy with echoes of asian culture.

How to live safely in a science fictional universe
Charles Yu
Corvus Books
ISBN : 978-1-84887-781-1

While it was long thought that reality was a special case of SF (i.e. QoE factor = 1, i.e. the strangeness of experience is no greater or less than intuitive notions of how things should be), it is now believed that, in some geological sense, the SF layer is structurally supported by the non-SF core of «reality,»…

Reading this text might be a bit daunting for the non scientifically inclined, but I think the book is certainly worth the effort, as this is certainly one of the most original books I have read in ages, while at the same it was very touching. So if you like strange, auto-refenrential books, that don’t actually talk about science even if they look like it, I really recommend this one.

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Black Swan – Movie Poster

Black Swan

Black Swan – Movie Poster

I did not really know what to expect about the movie Black Swan. It was too high profile to be the usual girls discovers hardship and friendship at the dancing school flick, which is a good thing, because I really wonder how many of those were produced, there seem to be one in every flight I took. I really liked the graphical promotion material produced for Black Swan, the one in the Art Deco style. Finally I’m late in my podcast listening, so I have not heard the good doc­tor’s critique of the movie. The only thing I knew for sure is that some girls I know loved it…

The movie is clearly not the dancing school type, has no relationship with the Art Deco period, and given the amount of sex and violence in it, I would not consider this to be a girl movie – then again I don’t watch so many of those, so maybe they have changed. The movie is, obviously, about ballet, and unsurprisingly, about a play of Лебединое озеро, aka Swan’s Lake by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The plot of the movie is basically a twist about the fight between the white and the black swans. Given the fact the compositor had such an influence on the whole movie, I was expecting to see him a bit earlier in the credits, but I digress.

The movie really surprised me, in a good way. The main theme is the dark side of ballet, and the strange relationship between a highly technical art and the highly emotional stories it tells. The underlying problem reminded me of the Nō plays where an old man would play an young girl: the result felt completely artificial to me. The plot of black swan is heavy with metaphors, but with enough twists and turns that I was unable to predict what would happen before the end. The movie is also about women: the only relevant masculine role is Vincent Cassel playing the raunchy director, and in the end he is more a trigger than anything else. As he is the bad guy of the movie, the french accent is de rigueur, maybe I should work on mine.

In conclusion a very good movie, with a grown-up take on the world of ballet. I would not recommend it if you are skirmish, or if you have dreams of your little girl becoming a ballerina.

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