This morning I animated a small little segment which completed the first tour of animation for Herqueville. I am going through the steps to make a DVD of it and send it around to get some opinions about this new phase of the film. I am strongly convinced that the animation layer that I created during the last month and a half is going to remain in the film. I don’t have much distance yet but I think it is very balanced. Most of it remains very discrete just filling the interstices of the previous version of the film made of live action, photographs and prints. I really enjoyed doing this very delicate work made of very small and short interventions but it needed to lead somewhere, to something that would be specific to the thread of animation.
So contrary to what I expected, in the last 5 minutes of the film, the animation becomes more like a foreground element with its own meaning that was not explicit in the previously existing film. I cannot say if I went too far in that direction, time will tell, but my current feeling is that it pushes the film at a new and more complex level of energy and meaning. The film was already based on a connection between the destructive character of the architectonic forces which are so obvious on the shoreline of La Hague and the human intervention of digging deep in the rock the cristalized nuclear waste which on the long run could be equally destructive. The
long term aspect is very important. It is a film that evokes the strength and violence of slow processes and how the action of nature and of mankind converge in this respect. It is not really a film against nuclear energy. I thingk it goes beyond that. It deals with what is terrifying both in nature and in human activity and which maybe cannot be avoided. So the layer of animation has made all of this more explicit (or more visible!) and have given it new dimensions by introducing the idea of fossils. It also develops one of the verses of one of Serge’s poems which mention Icarius. The fall of Icarius has become a leitmotif in the last part of the film. At the very end a turbulence in the water becomes a bird which becomes a falling Icarius, but he does not falls in the sea but in the depth of the earth and becomes a fossil. I am not sure that it works, but I like the idea. After the DVD is done, tomorrow hopefully, I will send it to Serge and Michèle, to Claude Beaugrand who will edit the sound, to Philippe from the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma and to some other friends and I will try to forget about it for a week or a week and a half. Then i will see what the reactions are and how I feel when I see it again.