Saturday, October 8, 2011

TintIn and the Mystery of the Golden Fleece (1961)

After two solid weeks and reviews of well over thirty films from the New York Film Festival we're going to start to shift back to our more regular programming. Not to worry we'll still be reviewing films from the festival in bonus posts almost every day, but as the number of films we're attending lessens we're going to blend our coverage with some films chosen to get you in the mood for the New York Comicon which starts Thursday in Manhattan. To start things off this weekend, we're looking at the first two Tin Tin films.

First live action adaption of the classic comic by Herge was one of the few adaptions to meet with his approval. I'm guessing it's because it's one of the few to actually get it right.

Starting rightly with the assumption that we know the characters we're thrown right into the middle of things. It seems Captain Haddock has been left a ship by an old crew member. Flying to Turkey with Tin Tin, he finds the ship is in fact a beaten down old cargo ship. Uncertain it's worth keeping the pair is intrigued when they are offered a fortune for the ship for no good reason. Deciding to hold off on officially accepting the ship they take it on a trial voyage to Greece. Along the way things become tense as attempts are made to kill the pair and take the ship.

A ripping good film it's easy to see why the film was a popular one with kids across England, a fact which is related in the insert book that comes with the BFI edition. Played more or less straight and real, as any Tin Tin adventure should, here is a film that logically brings in all the characters and allows them time to take center stage.

I also love that the film feels real. It was clearly shot on location and the film is all the better for it. (The weak sequel which I'll discuss tomorrow could have been shot anywhere). I loved that we are in real places with real people who are doing real things. At no point does the film feel fake or staged or at least filmed on a sound stage.

Watching the film I was struck by how I wished it was a rainy Sunday afternoon instead of a sunny Saturday. This is a film that is one you'll want to watch repeatedly curled up on the couch with a big bowl of popcorn.

The DVD was given to me by Bully, John and Randi because they thought I'd like it, and because they thought it might go well on Unseen Films. They were right on target.

Currently out in a solid BFI region 2 edition that is both dubbed (its excellent) and subtitled. There is also an Australian edition, also region coded floating around. Look for a US release in the wake of the unnatural Steven Spielberg film.

No comments:

Post a Comment