Visual & Sound Diary is a weekly feature where I explore a chosen film of distinctive cinematography and musical composition via the score, soundtrack and stills. This is how it works: click play on the link supplied of the selected music and scroll through the images. Be reminded and inspired of the cinematic splendour.
Note: the last shot is my pick for the best shot.
Easily one of the greatest French films of the 21st century, Amelié is a whimsical wonder, an intrigue of the cinema. The feature is rich in detail and stock full of peculiar characters with beautiful eccentricities. It's narrative arc is distinguished early on as an unusual one and its visuals are appropriately imposing and phenomenally creative. The film is accompanied by an easily memorably sweet, simple score. Each frame of Amelié is an explosion of colour and the shots are often off kilter, the camera moving in smooth but unexpected ways. In the technical sense, Amélie is of masterpiece standard. The lurid singularity of its style must be recognised. The film tells of a young Parisian girl, impossibly naïve, quirky and sweet, whom manages to look at the world in a wonderful and simple way. She relishes not in pursuits of success or wealth but in the simple pleasures of small justices and satisfying curiosities.
The distinct work of director Jean-Pierre Jeunet is often compared to that of Wes Anderson. Both film-makers are fond of voice-over narration, organised, symmetrical set designs and unconventional, detailed characterisations. However, Jeunet is evidently more ardent on establishing his characters - his creations may be aesthetically pleasing but they are anything but superficial. A certain poignancy and fervent passion afflicts his films, where Anderson often presents dead-pen, shallow characters (although this is completely intended). Jeunet also strives to establish his flawless shots in a more natural passage, as if such an image could really be seen by the naked eye in a Parisian street. As showcase for the musical magic of Amélie, I have selected the tantalising "Comptine d'un Autre Été" by composer Yann Tiersen.