(ad vitam) (2004)
Starring: Linda Hardy, Thomas Kretschmann, Charlotte
Frédéric Pierrot, Thomas M. Pollard, Yann Collette, Derrick Brenner
Director: Enki Bilal
U.S. Opening Date: TBA
For most people this movie’s claim to fame is that it is one of several
movies recently made that used digital backgrounds instead of “real” ones.
The best example is perhaps Sky Captain and the
World of Tomorrow (Lucas is also filming
Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith using this method).
I said for most people, but for me I’d like to see this movie because it
is based upon one of my favourite sci-fi graphic novels, namely the
so-called Nikopol Trilogy (which consists of three previously published
works, namely Carnival of Mortals, Woman Trap and Cold
Equator) by Enki Bilal.
Bilal is quite a cult figure in Europe (my favourite graphic novels of his
is The Hunting Party), but probably not that well-known in the
States or elsewhere. (In fact I bought my several volumes of Bilal graphic
novels during a holiday in Greece many years ago.)
His style would be somewhat familiar to those of Moebius and his work has
also appeared in Metal Hurlant (known outside France as
Heavy Metal) magazine.
Interesting to note is that:
the movie is directed by Bilal himself
the setting has been moved to New York from France – probably with an
eye on the lucrative U.S. box office
the plot actually has some elements in common with
The Fifth Element (also French, which had a girl with orange-dyed
running around New York instead of a girl with blue-dyed hair running
around New York)
the CGI doesn’t look all that fantastic to be honest.
Anyway, French cinema may be anathema to most visitors to this page, I’d
bet that they’d want to check this one out . . .
(Uhm, so what are the graphic novels about then I can
hear you ask. Here's a summary from
Amazon.com: "It's the year 2023 and
Alcide Nikopol has been revived from a state of suspended animation after
30 years orbiting Earth. In the meantime, the planet has suffered two
nuclear wars, and France is ruled by the ruthless dictator J.F. Choublanc.
The immortal gods of Egyptian antiquity have also reawakened to revive
their rule over humanity, and they now hover above the crumbling
technopolis of Paris in a massive stone pyramid/airship. Horus, the
renegade falcon god, takes possession of Nikopol's body, rendering him
immortal, and concocts a conspiracy to overthrow the Choublanc regime.
When Nikopol cracks under the pressure of Horus's possession, he is
reduced to muttering the poetry of Baudelaire while he wanders the halls
of a mental hospital.")