From what I have seen, Cédric Babouche’s award-winning film Imago (2005) is a beautifully executed animated short. The film tells the simple story of Antoine and how he comes to terms with the death of his father (a pilot) in a plane crash. Dreams and reality merge as the boy grows, until we see him at the end of the film as a grandfather, trying to pass on his love of aircraft to his grandson. The film is beautifully animated (drawn in ink overlaid onto watercolour backdrops) and has a very effective 3D effect, particularly during the sequence when the boy imagines his toy plane is real and he flies side-by-side with his father into a storm. French-born composer Thierry Malet has composed almost two-dozen scores, mostly short films and TV movies in his native France and has composed a beautiful orchestral score for Imago that is full of pathos.
The story of the film is told without dialogue, therefore the film is very reliant on the composer’s music to emphasis both the action and the emotions. Malet chooses to let the visuals convey the action (though he does use a chorus and a swirling string device in “The Storm” for the scene with Antoine and his father to emphasise their peril). The composer focuses instead more on the emotional aspect of the film. In particular, there’s a sadness that’s evident towards the end of the album, with the piano being the instrument of choice to convey that element of sadness. Both “Sad Cliff” and “Adieu” feature sad piano lines that seems to be as a result of Antoine’s reflection (perhaps he is thinking back through his life). The latter half of the final track, “Adieu”, reminds me of somewhat of Satie’s Gnossiennes, No. 1. Read the rest of this entry »