French director Jérémy Clapin, tanned years ago in short films (surprised with Skhizein Y Palmipedarium), has made a giant leap in the animation length with J’ai perdu mon corps, in Spanish translated by Where is my body?, a fascinating story about a mutilated hand that escapes from a laboratory refrigerator and embarks on an exciting and dangerous journey in order to find the body to which it belongs. The film, a real animated jewel, won the Critics' Week at the Cannes festival and has been received in Sitges with great expectation, since it is part of the official competition section – both Clapin's work and the Japanese Her blue sky They are the only ones of animation among the 35 titles that opt for a big prize – and part as one of the favorites.
It all started when in 2011 producer Marc du Pontavice contacted Clapin to move the book into pictures Happy hand from Guillaume Laurant, Oscar nominee for Amélie. “I had seen my work and I wanted it to be me who was in charge of co-writing the script with the author,” he tells The vanguard This expert in mixing different techniques (3D, 2D, stop motion …) to achieve a more striking animated product. At first he made a first draft, "but I was too influenced by Laurant's point of view and when you adapt you have to follow Truffaut's rule, betray the novel." In a second draft they gave him greater freedom and he stayed with the basic concept that permeated the initial reading of the book, that of a severed hand that seeks to recover his body, and from there “I contributed my own universe on the subject” and enriched the relationship of that hand with its owner, Naoufel.
The film, divided into black and white and color scenes, is a favorite in the official Fantàstic section
The film is differentiated in different shades to portray two parts in the life of the young protagonist: the color for today and black and white to show the happy memories of his childhood, “as a return to paradise” before his parents died and he will be trapped in a bland existence, with no clear direction and no chance of making those dreams of becoming a pianist and astronaut come true. The whole story is surrounded by the constant presence of the sound, that of that fly that tries to catch a small Naoufel with the advice of its parent; the recordings that he keeps in his cassette, the music that emanates from his mother's cello … or the personality of Gabrielle's voice, the client to whom she has to bring a pizza when she works as a delivery man and with which she maintains a revealing Conversation through the intercom.
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Giving life to that hand that runs quickly through the frantic streets of Paris and encounters numerous setbacks – such as those rats that go after it in the sewers, pigeons or dogs that lurk, even paragliding with an umbrella – was not an easy task , although for that, "cinema can provide the necessary magic." Clapin was clear that everything the viewer saw had to be through the point of view of the hand, something totally different from the novel and especially from the Thing from the Addams family: “When I read the book I wanted to look for that hand and see what I could say about oneself, that the public felt something authentic and universal. My idea was that the viewer could feel close to her and her feelings. ” And what if he has done it! That hand arouses all kinds of emotions in his rocambolesco journey to achieve his goal, hence the film has obtained such a good reception among the public that saw it in Cannes and critics.
I knew that my hand was not going to be like the Addams Family Thing. ”
The film is filled with nostalgia to talk about a wonderful and familiar past to which the director dyes with a special light. Memories that parade through laughter, vacations, the shelter of love … and then offer us the other side of the coin, the helplessness of Naoufel trying to find his destiny in a hostile environment. And there appears insistent the fly "as a kind of symbol of destiny, something that sees everything and that you want to catch but that moves in chaos."
Where is my body? It is a bold and original display of ingenuity in which Clapin offers a sensory story that works with pinpoint accuracy, attentive to details, as if we could feel the touch of everything that has happened through that hand and playing with time with a style which combines fantastic cinema with romanticism and reality. Precisely, the romantic part has a great weight on the main character, since Gabrielle's voice manages to seduce him and it is thanks to her that she tries to turn her boring life. "He didn't want his voice to be sexy, just to be attracted to him by how he speaks and what he says," says the director. Both are lonely people, isolated in their world and destined to meet. And in the meantime drama, the film also gives us moments as tender as that scene in which the hand approaches with a pacifier a baby who cries in his crib to calm him. All washed down with an exceptional soundtrack by Dan Levy "capable of introducing a mystical and cosmic universe to the film with its music."
The fly is a kind of symbol of destiny, something that sees everything and that you want to catch, but that moves in chaos ”
Clapin says that it was very difficult to carry out the project and claims “without any complex” the stories with soul that can come out of the animation, not only for fans of the genre, and believes that young people can surely feel identified with the protagonist in their search to find his place in the world. "Explaining the film is difficult, you have to see and feel it," he concludes. For now, Where is my body? It can be seen in selected theaters starting November 22 and a week later it will be available on Netflix.
The movie can be seen in selected theaters starting November 22 and a week later it will be available on Netflix