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Thursday, November 20, 2014

COULEUR DE PEAU: MIEL / APPROVED FOR ADOPTION (2012)

In Belgium, this award-winning/homegrown animation was titled COLOR OF SKIN: HONEY (see poster) which gets closer to the 'in-betweener'/alienation theme its author & real life subject, Jung, went thru as a Korean orphan adopted at 5 by a European family. Struggling in his adolescence to fit in, or find his place, the film is heartfelt, but frustrating, with a general look that's subdued watercolor anime spasmodically laced with berserk touches that might have come off of Bill Plympton’s drawing pad. Some old family movies add a pleasingly touch; less so the live-action shots of an adult Jung visiting Korea. But the main problem is that Jung & co-writer/director Laurent Boileau focus almost solely on episodes that have the young Jung constantly ‘acting out.’ We never pick up on the quotidian rhythm of his life, it's a backward glance that’s all trees and no forest.

WATCH THIS, NOT THAT: While not strictly comparable, Marjane Satrapi’s PERSEPOLIS/’07 brilliantly shows how to animate a coming-of-age/cultural rupture story.

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