February 29, 2004

More of Movie Weekend

As Ed mentioned earlier, we watched the Triplets of Belleville this Saturday. As I agree with pretty much everything he says about the movie (though I didn't find the theme quite as catchy as he did), I won't add anything to his commentary; rather, I wanted to mention "Destino", the short that preceded the movie.

"Destino" is the result of a collaboration between Salvador Dali and Walt Disney. Though they seem unlikely partners, it appears that Dali considered Disney a fellow surrealists (this New York Times article quotes Dali in referring to the "great American surrealists" Cecil deMille, the Marx Brothers, and Disney). Dali and Disney created "Destino" shortly after World War II, but Disney, citing financial problems, scrapped the project. The current version of the film is reconstructed from Dali's art and storyboards and closely follows his version of the story. The NYT article is worth checking out--it talks about the conflicted relationship between Dali and Disney, as well as all of the financial concerns tied up in the "Destino"'s release (the major one being that, by releasing the film, Disney has gained the rights to 22 Dali paintings, plus many sketches).

I found it amusing during the movie to try to identify the...characters? in "Destino" from the Dali paintings in which I'd seen them. The clocks from Persistence of Memory, the human cello from Musical Tempest/Red Orchestra, and the ants were easy to spot. I feel like I noticed a few more, but without owning the movie (yet) I'm unable to recall what they were.

Posted by Susan at February 29, 2004 11:25 PM

What struck me most about "Destino" is the way that--even if they'd left out some of the most famous Dali images--the film would have seemed unmistakable as a Dali-Disney collaboration. Imagine a reworking of "Fantasia," without the classical music and with lots of surrealistic images... The film was really evocative and fun to watch, just like The Triplets of Belleville, and I thought the pairing of the two films was inspired. (Would Triplets have seemed as evocative and loaded with allusions to other films, and other eras, if it hadn't followed Destino? I think so, but the pairing of the two movies highlighted the strengths in each one.)

Posted by: Ed at February 29, 2004 11:52 PM
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