Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Time After Time

Les Maîtres du temps (Time Masters) (1982) directed by Rene Laloux

This may be my favorite Laloux film, the Moebius character designs are instantly eye catching, and they merge perfectly with the alien Dali like landscapes Laloux is so well known for.
"Time Masters" is a french animated sci-fi adventure story, that begins mid chase, and careens towards a "La Jette" like twist, that mostly makes sense, and involves "time colonization".
A boy and his father race along on an alien planet and crash their vehicle, the father sends his son out with a communication device and tells him to do whatever it says. The boy is 5 years olf and the device is a transmitter to a ship across the Galaxy, captained by a friend of the boys father, who informs him they were attacked by an indigenous race of beetle creatures; his wife is dead, he is dying, and his son will be soon too, unless they can save him. For now the boy is safe beneath a part of the forest whose flowers act as a natural repellent to the creatures. The ships captain decides to deviate from his course of helping an embezzler Prince escape capture, and save the boy. Along the way they pick up a guide, whose been to the planet before and narrowly escaped the creatures, and two faceless psychic pixie like creatures, the kind you would find in a Miyazake movie. Meanwhile, They Prince is attempting to lead the boy astray on the communicator, and has to escape when the rest of the crew finds out. The captain pursues him to a planet of faceless angel like creatures who share a single consciousness planet wide, and who assimilate all life into themselves...Later still there are the "Time Masters" , who colonize planets by dislodging them in time temporarily, hurling whole civilizations back into times when they would have been easier to conquer and with greater stores of resources. Time Masters is wonderfully rendered space opera, with as always with Laloux, clever allegorical and political subtext, tucked in next to the sumptuous lingering images of the creatures and places which only exist in his films. I think with this, "Fantastic Planet", and "Light Years", Ive now seen all hia feature films. Sad really, Laloux is up there with Miyazake, Svanjkmajer, and Chuck Jones, as the the great craftsman of his medium.

No comments: