The creator of Kirikou at the Château d’Annecy



Arched waist, head raised, gaze fixed, Kirikou, proud and graceful, sees far in this pencil drawing, round and precise line, one of the most beautiful of the formidable exhibition dedicated to Michel Ocelot. “He believes in his ability to transform society. Children are innocent people who don’t give in », Explains the French filmmaker in one of the many videos which punctuate the course of the castle of Annecy.

A setting worthy of the settings of its tasty animated tales, The Legend of the Poor Hunchback, César 1983 for best animated short, to his masterpiece Azur and Asmar (2006), passing, of course, by the saga of the small but valiant African hero. Michel Ocelot’s passion for storytelling was born from reading a collection of African stories during his stay in the 1980s at La Fabrique, the studio of Jean-François Laguionie, where he perfected his animation technique. artisanal.

Adept at a great economy of means brought about by his long years of professional scarcity, the artist folds, cuts, crumples, tears paper. He becomes under his delicate fingers an elegant lace animated in Chinese shadows in his first short film, The Three Inventors (1979).

Heir to the imagery of Epinal, Michel Ocelot was fascinated, from an early age, by his father’s small puppet theater, whose fixed frame, two-dimensional plans and the pleasure of artifice would irrigate his magic. animated. A colorful magic brilliantly reproduced by ingenious installations whose backlighting is activated by the passage of the visitor.

Childhood is at the heart of the course developed by curator Yaël Ben Nun, in close collaboration with Michel Ocelot who, however, did not want to insist too much on this period of his life, for fear of being labeled “young.” public ”. “My stories seek to open everyone’s eyes to the world, he explains. I never made films for children. And that’s why they love me! “

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