[AFFFF ’12] Les Contes de La Nuit (Tales Of The Night)

Tales Of The Night is a wonderfully unique visual experience; its animation is stunning and quite stylised. I was impressed simply by the look of this film, it is wonderfully crafted from the get go.
The story here is a simple one, it features three friends in a Parisian theatre who come up with stories and act them out. You have a boy, a girl and an elderly man, each who shares an equal love for storytelling and theatre. There are six stories told, re-imaged fables and fairy tales, each with their own unique look and moral at the end.
While the moral of each story is nothing new, it is the way they are told and presented that is the delight. There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking an idea and reworking it into something fresh and entertaining (after all isn’t that what say George Lucas did with the original Star Wars trilogy?). I wont reveal what the stories or the moral’s are, it is fun to discover that for yourself. The in-between scenes, cutting between the stories are fun as we see the trio brainstorm.

Perhaps the only downside is we never get to know the trio, we do not know their relationship or really who they are aside from devoted people of the theatre. A little background to those would have been nice, as we really only see them being imaginative with the brainstorming and then as actors with each story. Perhaps there are pieces of the boy and girl within each story and performance, all of which are as unique as the next.
The animation style is as mentioned quite the unique experience. The characters are shown as a kind of silhouette, with little colour. We can tell who the two actors are from their outline and their voices, they look different in each story but we know it is them. It is quite striking to see the silhouette against the backdrop of the colourful and beautifully realised background pieces. Each story has a different setting, a different period in time and we get that feel from each background and ‘set’.
The voice acting is lovely; it really rounds out such a wonderful and wholly satisfying experience. This is such a wonderful idea that I do think really worked, certainly a job well done by director Michel Ocelot. There is a lot to enjoy and really fall in love with here, if this film crosses your path, do yourself the favour and indulge in this one.
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