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Le Tableau

The inhabitants of a piece of art begin a journey across other paintings in this animated triumph.

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  • Director Jean-François Laguionie
  • Producer Armelle Glorennec, Eric Jacquot
  • Screenwriter Anik Le Ray
  • Voices Jessica Monceau, Adrien Larmande, Thierry Jahn
  • France-Belgium 2011
  • 76 mins
  • Sales Rezo Films

Recommended ages 8+

Within an unfinished painting exists a hierarchical world made up of completed drawings (Alldunns), partially completed work (Halfies) and the ghostly, barely-sketched charcoal remnants (Sketchies). The Alldunns live a life of plentiful luxury but their hatred of the Sketchies is pathological. The Halfies and Sketchies become natural allies and even Roma, an Alldunn who is in love with a Halfie girl, joins Halfie Lola as she goes looking for answers as to why the painter has left their world incomplete and in turmoil. Soon they find themselves travelling through different paintings, meeting new characters and exploring exciting worlds, inspired by Matisse and Bonnard, where rich colours and creativity are bursting inside the frame. This is an inventive story about seeing the bigger picture and realising that there is so much more to the world than the canvas that you inhabit. There is plenty here that works as allegory if you want it to, but, even at the most basic level, this is a beautifully made, highly original piece of work that can be enjoyed by all.
Justin Johnson

Director statement

Anik LeRay’s script confronts painted characters, emerged from their painting, with a real-life world – that of the painter's workshop. Our purpose is to justify this encounter in a natural rather than an aesthetic way. (The adventures of a painter with his creation is too magnificent and profound a subject for it to be mixed with images purely for visual pleasure). My main concern was to make this incredible adventure perfectly credible, for all audiences. [...] There has been considerable work done on the characters because there are many Allduns, Halfies and Sketchies, and they are capricious! They were created by the Painter's brush but have since been abandoned. They have consequently developed their own personalities, and they do not all see eye-to-eye on the importance of seeking out their Creator. In my eyes, this is the most interesting aspect of the story. It urges us to ask questions about our own existence and freedoms: the choice of painting oneself, the choice of seeking data and truth elsewhere... We have tried to tackle this aspect of the film in a light-hearted way, without weighing down the other levels of interpretation.
Jean-François Laguionie

Director biography

Born in 1939 in Besançon, he was still very young when developing a passion for drawing, and he studied graphics at college before a near-accidental meeting with Paul Grimault introduced him to the world of animation; and the pair shared a studio for almost ten years. The success of his solo shorts culminated in a Cannes award for Rowing Across the Atlantic in 1978, then he took five years with a small team to produce his first feature, Gwen, or the Book of Sand. TV work, often in European co-production contexts, consumed his and his La Fabrique team’s time for some time thereafter, but further features eventually emerged, with The Island of Black Mór being based on his own novel.

Filmography

1965 La Demoiselle et le Violoncelliste (The Maiden and the Cellist) [s]
1967 L’Arche de Noé (Noah’s Ark) [s]
1969 Une bombe par hasard (A Random Bomb) [s]
1971 Plage privée (Private Beach) [s]
1974 L’Acteur (The Actor) [s]; Potr’ et la fille des eaux [s]
1976 Le Masque du diable (The Devil’s Mask) [s]
1978 La Traversée de l’Atlantique à la rame (Rowing Across the Atlantic) [s]
1985 Gwen, le livre de sable (Gwen, or the Book of Sand)
1999 Le Château des singes (A Monkey’s Tale)
2003 L’Île de Black Mór (The Island of Black Mór)
2011 Le Tableau

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