The final film for the upcoming Animation Nation 2016, an animated film festival organised by the Singapore Film Society (SFS) is the award-winning The Red Turtle, a joint production between Wild Bunch (France) and Studio Ghibli (Japan), directed by Michaël Dudok de Wit.

The Red Turtle tells the story of a man who tries to escape from a deserted island and battles a giant turtle. To say more than that would spoil the story somewhat. Not that there is a complicated plot involved here. The film has no dialogue and thus, the interest is maintained by trying to figure out where the story might go, considering certain surrealistic plot twists.

The animation is gorgeous throughout and is of a Eurocentric style – reminiscent of the artwork of Hergé (creator of Tintin) in fact. As the single location is simply the desert island and the sea, there is an awesome sense of wonder about nature in every scene – evoked by beautiful scenery and pleasing colours. The music score (by Laurent Perez Del Mar) is absolutely lovely as well. 

The characters themselves are cyphers somewhat – they do not converse with each other – so it is impossible to get any glimpse into their personalities beyond what is observed superficially from their actions. The Red Turtle is a very pretty Arthouse movie, one might say, and will appeal to film lovers who demand that movies raise questions rather than spoon-feed them with clichés.

The Red Turtle will be screened on Sunday, October 16th at Alliance Française at 7pm. More information from the SFS website. 

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