Ce n’est pas une pipe

16 Jun

Very excited to see that Sylvain Chomet’s latest feature, The Illusionist, is opening the Edinburgh Film Festival this evening.  Having been a huge fan of the incredible Les triplettes de Belleville I’m sad that I can’t be there for the UK premiere.

I’m just starting work on a piece about authenticity vs truth in constructing ideas of the Scottish capital so I’m especially intrigued by the attention to detail that’s been put into reconstructing Edinburgh in 2D; not just in terms the visual but also culturally.

It’s clear that Chomet’s team went to great efforts to capture the essence of Edinburgh; given his track record of conjuring the quaintly fantastic in his work I’d love to know more about the decision making process where authenticity and truth conflicted.  In describing part of the process in a recent Guardian article Chomet reveals a little about his own sense of authenticity from a stereotypically French cultural landmark, food:

We really researched Edinburgh of 1959 right down to recreating the famous chip shops of the time where everything, including the lobster, is battered. You know I miss Scotland a lot, but it is true the food is a bit special. This idea that you have to do violence to food before you eat it. Batter it up good and proper.

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