dir. BLUTCH, MARIE CAILLOU, PIERRE DI SCIULLO, JERRY KRAMSKI, LORENZO MATTOTTI, RICHARD MCGUIRE, MICHEL PIRUS, ROMAIN SLOCOMBE | France 2007 | 78 mins introduction: Zdeněk Blaha
The series of unique black-and-white stories created by several authors and shot in various styles deals with themes of deep and universal human fears. Besides the dynamic blending of the disturbing shapes which is supplied with an urgent commentary, there is one haunted house no one can get out of and a nightmarish dark forest.
The spider's legs slip on naked skin... The obscure sound of the night in the dark bedroom... The huge, empty house feels rife with the presence of someone else... The syringe coming closer and closer... The dead somehow imprisoned in the bottle with methanal.. The glaring tusk chasing its victim with bloodlust...
There are so many terrifying moments each of us experiences once in a while and like the authors we feel it as the core of fear. A handful of the best contemporary French designers and animators enlivened their nightmares as outlined in black-and-white. Fear(s) of the Dark is a suggestive journey into the core of fear – under the leadership of reputable artist Etienne Robial, the individual authors decided to employ various animation techniques to represent their nightmares as well as those of others which haunt them and audiences. The range of the authors's animation techniques is definitely varied – it reaches from the Japanese anime tradition in the story about a damned samurai and an obsessed girl, through to the charcoal drawing in the story about a bloodthirsty baron and his rabid dogs, to the contrasting layout in a graphic novel (locust, haunted house story).
The whole project originated in the year 2007 under the direction of ten creative draftsmen and art designers, which ensures that each story has a different interpretation. The straight-lined artwork of Charles Burns or Pierre di Sciulla's abstract poetics deal with the horror themes in their own way. The audience can thus expect six different variations of "story of fear". The film is united through the subdivided story where a female voice-over narrates about her pettier and larger personal-social phobia, about some small nasty moments one encounters during the flow of days. The background is full of blending geometrical patterns, which uses the principles of association and loose formative contexts to evoke unpleasant stimuli of the outer world. One can't resist thinking of the intellectual tradition of the French New Wave that used to compose meanings out of meaningless, seemingly profound statements, theses and bonmots.
Charles Burns is an American cartoonist and author. Recently, he managed to arouse public awareness even in the Czech Republic thanks to his comics novel Black Hole which is a metaphor of time and maturity.
Marie Caillou studied at Decorative Art School in Strasbourg and graphic design in Brussels. She devoted her work to digital animation and created a very specific "naive" style, which is influenced by the traditional Japanese illustration.
Blutch (born Christian Hincker) – debuted in a French magazine Fluide Glacial during the late 80s. His style is characterized as a nervous, rambling drawing enriched with poetry.
Richard McGuire – a New York cartoonist who mixes hand-drawing with computer graphics.
Lorenzo Mattotti – his comics focuses on the inner world of his protagonists. He participated even in the full feature film Eros producing the connecting animation segments between the individual episodes of the film.
Pierre di Sciullo works in experimental areas and deals with the possibilities of typography.
Zdeněk Blaha, Pavel Bednařík, Kateřina Surmanová