Monday, June 10, 2024

The Glassworker (2024) Annecy 2024

As Vincent, a glassmaker in Waterside Town, prepares for an exhibition of his work, he runs across a letter from the girl he once loved and he thinks back to their meeting as children, right before war broke out on to their troubled parting.

Set in a time outside of time, it looks to be the late 19th or earlier 20th century but has designs that seem to be decades later. It's set in a world where the countries are not identifiable. There is no real world connection, this is like every where and nowhere that looks Western. It is a time and place that exists only in our heads and hearts. It is also a film that relies on visual references to Studio Ghibli, with Vincent's father looking like Hayao Miyazaki (we first see him drawing at a table much like the great director). 

While the set up of this story may make it seem like we've been here before the film quickly begins to shift into unexpected ways. This is very much a war story while always being a romance. It's a film that uses the the thread of romance to hang a lot of weighty subjects on for us to consider. This isn't just a romance but a film that ponders the stupidity of war,  how it changes everyone, and how we deal with losing the one person we love most in the world. It's a film that works because it is a film with complex characters that are aren't what you find in most animation, but complex works of art. They are so well drawn that they become like family. I  fell into the film and ended up being moved to tears by the ending.

I love the arc of this film. I love that we are not watching a movie but instead experiencing a novel. 

Hour after seeing the film I find myself haunted. I want to dive back in. I want to hang out with these friends and ride the rollercoaster of their lives again.

When this film comes near you you must see it.

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