Sat, Jan 14, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Simplicity the cardinal quality for children's films, French animator says


Simplicity is one of the most important elements a children's movie needs to appeal to children, Jacques-Remy Girerd, a well-known French animator, said in Taipei yesterday.

Girerd made the statement at a panel discussion yesterday with Taiwanese film director Hou Hsiao-hsien (侯孝賢). The panel discussion was part of the 2006 Taiwan International Children TV and Film Festival. The film festival was launched yesterday and runs through Tuesday. It will show 120 films from 37 countries at the two projection halls of the "Taipei Youth Activity Center," also known as "Y17."

Girerd is best known in Taiwan as the director of the animation movie Raining Cats and Frogs which was shown in theaters last year.

"Simplicity is the most important element in a movie a child sees. A movie that a child is interested in has to be like a fable. But if one starts making a movie with the target of making a `movie for children,' then it is sure to be a lousy movie," Girerd said.

"To be honest, I never had the idea to make a movie for children. I like to make movies, and children just happen to like them," Girerd said.

Hou, who is well-known in France for his artistic movies that highlight Taiwanese history and modernization, said that a child seeing a movie is receiving an education without being aware of it. Therefore, for a film seen principally by children, writing the script is the most important part of the project.

"Good scenario-writing helps to cultivate a young person's talents and personality," Hou said.

Echoing Hou's views, Girerd also said that he spends one third of his time writing his movies' scripts.

"A movie maker had better not copy scenarios that already exist, especially those of Disney's children's programs," he said.

Girerd suggested that filmmakers should forget about what others have already done and listen to their own ideas.

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