Posted on Friday, December 23rd, 2011 by Russ Fischer
We’ve been tracking Ari Folman‘s film The Congress for three years. That’s because Folman’s last film was Waltz With Bashir, a great animated look at a soldier’s unreliable perspective on war. The Congress is something quite different, however. Based on a story by noted speculative fiction author Stanislaw Lem, this one features Robin Wright, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Paul Giamatti and Danny Huston in a story — greatly reworked from Lem’s text — about an actress who makes a deal that changes her future in ways she could never predict.
It is a sci-fi story, of sorts, and the film is being constructed in an usual manner. There is a big live-action component, but a good amount of the movie will be animated. A new interview with Folman makes the film sound like it is on track, but taking time to complete.
We just returned from a round of rough-cut screenings in Israel and Europe. The film has 70 minutes of live-action and 50 minutes of animation, the live action part is locked (except for the effects) and the animation is still in the Animatic phase, but most of the designs are done. We’re now going into an insane journey of finishing the animation in 10 months, in five different countries: here, in Jaffa, Poland, Belgium, Germany and Luxemburg. After that, post-production. The movie should be done by January 2013.
That’s a long time, but I’m willing to wait if that time is what the movie needs. The header image is a new one from the animated part of the movie; we have yet to see any still images from the live-action portion. Here’s a clip of the animation that has been floating around for quite a while.
An aging, out of work actress struggles to make ends meet and provide care for her disabled son. Times are tough until she is offered one last job. A major studio will scan her body – they will own her image and likeness and use it anyway they want. It’s a huge paycheck, but there’s a catch: she’ll never be able to act again. The ramifications of her decision have far-reaching effects in the future that she could never imagine.