Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Moebius Redux: A Life in Pictures (2007)

In honor of Eden's Moebius series I'm reviewing a wonderful documentary on the life of the man himself. Its a loving, but very much warts and all look at the work and life of Jean Giraud also known as Moebius.

The film is effectively the life of Moebius as told by Moebius. His telling of the story of his life is cut together from several interviews and it's what drives the film. His story is inter-cut with the the commentary of the men who knew and worked with him including Philippe Druillet, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Mike Mignola, Dan O'Bannon, HR Giger, and Stand Lee among others. The film is filled from start to finish with his art and some of it is brought wonderfully to life.

As he film begins we see how Giraud goes from young man interested in art and watch as he is altereded by a visit to his mother and stepfather in Mexico. There is something about the desert that opens up his mind and changes his art and his person. Its the change that will set him on a course to expand his brain and which will change the world of comic art. (And which will get him into a bit of trouble when he got hooked up with a so called "cult").

The film mostly concentrates on his life and art. We see his work on the original Heavy Metal, His creation of Azarak, the Silver Surfer and of course his film work.

Moebius says that getting a call to work in Hollywood is like getting a call from mount Olympus. We see bits of his work for The Fifth Element, Tron, and Alien. The most amount of time is spent talking about Alejandro Jodorowsky's attempt at making Dune. As fan of that book and the people involved with that film I've always been curious as to what happened with that film, and now I know (I finally learned the failure of the film was simply due to not being able to get US distribution).

I really loved this film more than I thought I would. Its great film that told me a great deal not only about Moebius but about other things, about the history of comic art, of how films are designed and how one man can influence so much.

Now the tough part, this film is going to be a real pain in the ass to find. The film was produced in Germany and it's full version is available on a German 2 disc DVD (which is worth it for all the extras), the trick is that you're going to have to have region coded machine and your going to have to try and track it down cheaply over seas. Amazon Germany has it but it's not quite as cheap as In and Out Records from Austria (I got it from In and Out with another DVD for about the price I was going to get it from Amazon Germany).

There is a 48 minute version called Moebius A Life in Pictures. It was run by the BBC and was for a brief time was available to viewing on their website. I don't know what the difference between the two versions, though one thing I've read is that Moebius is less of a jerk in the short version. I didn't think he came off as a jerk in the long version so I can't say.(I can't imagine what was cut from it and if you can try and find the full version)

If you can get your hands on this do so, its something I cam say rarely about a DVD it's something you'll watch repeatedly.

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