Studio Ghibli are back, sort of. This partnership with Dutch-British animator Michaël Dudok de Wit is a palette-cleansing beauty.
We open with a blue-grey vision of the sea, rising like Mount Fuji against charcoal skies – the pre-credits shipwrecking of our nameless Robinson Crusoe.
He is washed up on an archetypal desert island. Repeated attempts to sail away bring him into contact with a mysterious giant turtle, out of which a magical companionship magically. The story operates at the level of a universal myth, free of dialogue or specifics, subtly alluding to more essential, existential matters.
The Red Turtle evolves from an ambitious tale of survival into something poignant, and utterly profound. The simple way it takes on the familiar concepts of companionship, growing up and letting go, in a way that both children and adults can unpack without losing the emotional complexity, seems quietly groundbreaking. You understand why the legendary Japanese animation house chose Dudok de Wit as its first European collaborator. Allow yourself to get lost. (research Jack Whiting)
A truly breathtaking experience for any audience. As is the immortal, heart-flying Red Balloon. “The Red Balloon (1956) is one of the most beautiful short films ever made.
Filmed entirely in the picturesque back streets and narrow Parisienne alleys of the Old Menilmotant district, The Red Balloon has been acclaimed throughout the world as an immortal masterpiece of lyrical poetry…” And it is. Come.
Showing as a short double bill at the Rex. Don’t dare miss them.