Since 2002, the organizers of the Cannes festival put at the honor of the DVD, by rewarding the best titles for the year. For the edition 2004, the jury allotted to a special mention to traditional animation the King and the Bird of Paul Grimault and Jacques Prévert, left for the last festivals of Christmas. The restoration of this film, supervised by Studiocanal, constitutes an event for which is interested in the stammerings of animation in Europe, insofar as this DVD also makes it possible the public to discover court-measurings and an interview of Grimault joined together in the s3eance table. The spectator can thus learn that Grimault worked in the largest studio of animation of Europe of the years 1940, first of all carrying out court-measurings of an unequalled poetry, to harness itself then with the feature-length film of its life, the shepherdess and the chimney sweeper. The supplements of the DVD explain us why the production confiscated this film in 1950, before Grimault can recover a copy in 1976 of it, to which it A * the Scarecrow (1943) assistant some scenes to rename it the King and the Bird. The quasi-absence of film exit of Grimault between 1950 and 1980 questions on the reasons of the suspension of its activity, him which was only European with being able to offer to the concept of poetic been worth rained animation one. Studiocanal proposes to the spectator of the tracks of explanation of this enigma, within two documentary which contain omissions and charges that it is necessary to subject to contradiction.
One learns there that Grimault started to work in the field of the animation in 1936, within a company called the Gemini of which he was the artistic director, at the sides from Andre Sarrut to which he authorizes only the qualifier of administrative director, whereas he was the executive producer. Grimault denounces the confiscation of the shepherdess and the chimney sweeper by Sarrut like an unbearable dispossession, related to unfounded charges of “perfectionism”, recognizing all the same that this conflict “had roasted it” in the profession. However, as opposed to what he says, Grimault had a share of responsibility in the rout which knew its only and single feature film. It should first of all be specified that the creation of the Gemini by Sarrut and Grimault testified to a common will to develop the cinema of French animation. The company the Gemini employed approximately 150 people - organizers, draftsmen, decorators, assemblers, gouacheurs, tracers, administrative staff - which all were devoted bodies and heart with the projects of Grimault and Sarrut. After having left the robber lightning conductors and the small soldier, everyone was put at work to achieve this first European feature film which was to become the shepherdess and the chimney sweeper. In 1950, after five years of keen work and support without fault of the production, Grimault and Prévert were in great difficulties to buckle their film. All the scenes were ready, but the two poets did not manage to succeed, so much they were attached to all to keep.
In spite of the announced bankruptcy of the Gemini, and the fact that those which had taken part in the creation of the shepherdess and the chimney sweeper had been paid more for several months, Grimault and Prévert camped on their positions, being unaware of the disappointment and the distress of those which had supported them in their projects, and at the same time sabotaging the future of the cinema of French and European animation for about thirty years. Admittedly, Paul Grimault could recover a copy of the shepherdess and the chimney sweeper in 1976, and create the King and the Bird with the assistance of young organizers very flattered to work with this monument of the French cinema. All the admiration which this film left in 1980 causes, should not make forget that the shepherdess and the chimney sweeper were a work differently more innovative and poetic, that it is because of music of Joseph Kosma, or of the doubling carried out by Pierre Brasseur (the bird), Fernand Ledoux (the king), Serge Reggiani (the chimney sweeper) and Anouk Aymé (the shepherdess), actors much more fertile than Jean Martin, Pascal Mazzotti, Renaud Marx and Agnès Viala.
In addition to the disguise of reality operated in this DVD, it is not mentioned any the teams which took part in the creation of the court-measurings produced by the Gemini. The interviews and credits concerning the robber of lightning conductors and the small soldier never quote tens of people who worked there, as if Grimault had made its cartoons all alone. The supplements of the DVD make it possible to pay homage to all those which take part in the drawing of animation, by making off on the production, the effects special, the decorations, the colors or doublings. Thus, for example, everyone knows today that Shrek could never have been carried out without the producer of DreamWorks Jeffrey Katzenberg and without the participation of several trade associations which collaborated in its complexity. In the DVD the King and the Bird, the spectator on the other hand is handled, this the more so as Grimault and Prévert are icons which make the pride of France, in what she of poetic and revolted: the production is regarded as carrying one fished original, because corrupted a priori by mercantile considerations; the teams of the Gemini are ignored because crushed by the notoriety of the two principal authors. The respect due to their memory should not occult the merit of Sarrut and those of the Gemini which wanted that an alternate cinema of animation to the disneylandisation occurs which made already rage in 1950. ______________________________________
The article which precedes does not present the career of Paul Grimault, nor his major importance in the international cinema of animation, but it pretexts edition DVD of the film " The King and Oiseau" to rewrite the history of this film in a all the more tendentious way as it provides only of partial information, skewed or erroneous.
Yes, Sarrut and Grimault created well together in 1936 the company " Gémeaux" the first was administrative director, the second artistic director. In the reality of the film productions, that means that the first was producer and the second author-realizer. And the Gemini actually carried out eight short films of animation between 1937 and 1948.
Sarrut and Grimault joined together well in 1948, to carry out their first feature-length film, " The Shepherdess and Ramoneur" , a team of collaborators which was undoubtedly the only one in Europe with being able to compete with what then made Walt Disney in the USA. But in 1950, the Gemini (in other words Sarrut and Grimault, and not simply the second, and even less Jacques Prévert which was only the scenario writer of film) was in such financial problems that the conflict burst between Sarrut, pressed as fast as possible to complete film, and Grimault which claimed time (and financial means) necessary to its good completion. To summarize two years of fratricidal confrontations, the film was finished in England without Grimault which, at the time of the exit of film completed in 1952, was to the courts for, like Prévert, to make withdraw its name of a work which he did not recognize any more like his. They have, as claims it the author of the article sabotaged " at the same time future of the cinema of French and European animation for about thirty années" ? One can of doubt since this one went rather well, in France and Europe, between 1950 and 1980, including through the production of a certain number of feature-length films.
From now on separated from Sarrut, Grimault did not remain inactive, but it created a new business, " The Films Paul Grimault" , which, not satisfies to produce three animated short films of Grimault (all written with Prévert), also produced seven films of young still unknown realizers, and placed its studio at the disposal of other realizers. It is at this time, undoubtedly, which Grimault became the headlight and the model for a whole generation of young realizers of animation.
In 1976, Grimault does not have " récupéré" a copy of " The Shepherdess and Ramoneur" , but it repurchased the rights of film at the time of compulsory liquidation of the Gemini, with the intention at once posted to finish it such as it had wanted it initially. It has already more than seventy years and joins together a new team mainly made up of young organizers (which several themselves devoted realizers), but where one still finds Gabriel Allignet, Roger Duclent or Henri Lacam which took part already in the realization of film thirty years earlier. The handing-over in building site will last two years. The new completed version leaves in 1980 pennies the title " The King and Oiseau". More half of the images new or are remade there; the band its was entirely re-recorded of it with new voices and a new music. Quite malignant which can affirm today that " The Shepherdess and the ramoneur" " was a work differently more innovative and poétique" that " The King and Oiseau" since, following the absolute prohibition of Grimault, this repudiated version has not been publicly shown in France for more than thirty years, not even with the French Cineclub which has copies of them or during the homage-exposure returned to Grimault in 1991 with the Palate of Tokyo (it however exists a pirate edition DVD about it on the US market, of very poor quality but testifying enough to the scamping of certain scenes). Grimault, for its part, professed to prefer the new music of Wojciech Kilar to that, a little too sentimental with its taste, originally written by Joseph Kosma.
The film was published in DVD in 2003 per Video Canal. In the supplements of this double disc appears, inter alia, the last feature-length film of Grimault, " The Table tournante" , where Grimault played its own part to present its principal short films. The internal logic of this film led it to cut the credits of films (except that of the " Small Soldat") but these credits are completely included in the final credits of " The Table tournante". It will be regretted, of course, that there is not a " making of" of " The Shepherdess and the ramoneur" or of the " King and Oiseau" , but one will remember that it was hardly the practice in 1950 as in 1980 and that it is undoubtedly a little late to now do it. Grimault however speaks with emotion in these supplements about his/her collaborators to which it dedicated an immense affection and an admiration. And it does not have any evil to say of Andre Sarrut, of which he regrets simply that their common great adventure however badly finished.
Catalog of films
- electric Phenomena (1937) (short film)
- the Messenger of the light (1938) (short film)
- Passengers of the " Large-Ourse" (1941) (short film)
- the Merchant of notes (1942) (short film)
- the Scarecrow (1943) (short film)
- the Robber of lightning conductors (1944) (short film)
- the magic Flute (1946) (short film)
- the Small soldier (1947) (short film)
- the Shepherdess and the chimney sweeper (1948-1952) (repudiated)
- forgotten Stones (1952) (short film)
- Enrico cook (1956) (short film, Co-réal. Pierre Prévert)
- Hunger of the world (1957) (short film)
- Diamond (1970) (short film)
- the Dog music lover (1973) (short film)
- the King and the Bird (1980)
- the S3eance table (1988)
ActorSince its beginnings in advertizing films of the Thirties realized by Flesh-colored Marcel or Jean Aurenche, Grimault multiplied the silhouettes and figurations in films of his/her friends and particularly those which brought together his/her buddies of famous Groupe October. Most known is that of a workman typographer in " The Crime of Mr Lange" of Jean Renoir (1936). One of the last is a silhouette of awkward workman in " My oncle" of Jacques Tati (1958).
In " Prévert, portrait of a vie" (Ramsay, 2007,239 p., pp.218), Carole Aurouet written: " Paul Grimault, “Paulo for us”, entrusts Pierre Prévert, is him also born at Neuilly-sur-Marne, five years after Jacques. Other similarities bring them closer since it also spent the periods of its childhood to Brittany, worked in Bon Marché and in an advertizing agency. It is besides there, about 1929, in the agency of Etienne Damour, that it côtoie Jean Anouilh, Yves Allégret and Jacques Prévert. Grimault is adventure of the group October, time of " Live the presse" and of the “Breton Review”. Then it incarnates a typographer in " The Crime of Mr. Lange". Then he will become the Master of the cinema of animation, creating remarkable cartoons, of which several with Jacques."
- Site the Attic of ITAF
- Paul Grimault, the ''' Official site '''
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