Friday, March 28, 2014

Aunt Hilda (2013) NIYCFF 2014

Jacues-Remmy Girerd the man behind the Oscar nominated The Cat in Paris, Mia and the Magoo, and Its Raining Cats and Frogs falls on his face with one of the most annoying films of the last five years, an eco-rant that will turn even the staunchest conservationist to the other side.

The plot has the evil Dolores, who runs the Doro corporation using genetics to modify plants in order to make super crops to make her fortune. When one of her scientists, and boyfriend of Hilda, discovers a super crop he backs away since he senses something is wrong. His assistant, hoping to make a name for himself finishes the project and almost destroys the world- leaving only Hilda to stop the destruction.

Beautifully animated film with a style that harkens back to the style of the 1970's and The Point, some Film Board of Canada films and the work of Australian Paul Williams, this is a great film to look at. Its a real treasure.

The problem is that environmental message is as out of control as the  plant in the film and it's more a radical screed then a narrative film. I agree with Girerd's position on the environment and modified plants, but to be perfectly honest I was ready to join the other side. This movie abused me and I felt like I was being hit over the head with a sledgehammer for its entire run time. Its clear that Girerd knows the work of Paul Williams who dealt with many environmental and social issues in his films, but where Williams could balance the story with the lecture Girerd can't. He's screaming at the top of his lungs and you turn off.

I walked out. It was too painful to watch.

I met several families after the screening on Saturday as I went in and out of the films that followed and it seemed as though the kids liked it but the parents echoed my sentiment.

If given the chance I'd skip it.

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