At the Anima Mundi (International Animation Festival of Brazil) of 2001 the Belgian animator Raoul Servais was one of the special guests. To celebrate his presence, the festival did a retrospective with his films and an exhibition at the CCBB (Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil) of São Paulo, with drawings, videos, posters, illustrations and other memorabilia with images of his animations. In the end I saw the exhibition and video extracts of his films, but didn’t see any complete film.
Last year I was searching for animations to watch and remember of some images of Harpya (FR), a short animation of Servais about an Harpy, a mythological creature described at a beautiful winged bird-women. The won the Palme d’Or for Best Short Film at the 1979 Cannes Film Festival and it was also chosen by international critics as one of the 20 best short films ever.
I didn’t find the film or any of his films, however I found the Raoul Servais official site and discovered that Harpya was first attempt to combine live action images with animation. I also discovered that Raoul Servais isn’t so know as I imagined, what is a pitty. There is no Wikipedia article about him in English and even in French it’s very very short. But things change, and now there is a plenty of his films.
Let’s start with AtomFilms and its Raoul Servais collection, with nine films: Chromophobia, The False Note, Goldframe, Harpya, Nocturnal Butterflies (Nachtvlinders), Operation X-70, Pegasus, Siren (Sirene) and To Speak or Not To Speak.
At Google Video there are four of those videos, but without any adds to watch before them: Chromophobia, Harpya, De valse noot (The False Note) and Operationx-70.
And finally at You Tube there are ten and a Playlist: playlist with all of them in chronological order. (via ?? [Deadcalm]) BTW, Harpya and Papillons De Nuit aren’t totally safe for work.
– Chromophobia (1966)
– Sirene (1968)
– To Speak Or Not To Speak (1970)
– Operation X-70 (1971)
– Harpya (1979)
Servais not only makes wonderful and visually beautiful animations, he also puts a political speech of pacifism in his films. Per example, Taxandria is a fantastic film about the imaginary world of Taxandria, where the boy learns about the power of love and the value of liberty. His biography talks for itself. Now you have reasons enough to watch them.
BTW, I’m still searching for Taxandria to watch.
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