We have been trying to reach Michaël Dudok de Wit for a long time. The artist could not come to Krakow because he was working intensively on his latest film – “The Red Turtle”. But finally, our wish came true. The Dutch master will honour us with his presence. He will appear before the festival’s audience during the meeting in a series “Self-portraits of animation authors”.
Michaël Dudok de Wit, next to Paul Driessen, is the best known contemporary Dutch animator. Born in 1953, he studied at the Geneva School of Fine Arts. In 1978 he graduated from the West Surrey College of Art with his graduation film The Interview. Apart from his own films, he also makes commercials, works as a lecturer, writes and illustrates children’s books.
In this extraordinary artist’s output one can find just a few short films, however, all of them are held in high regard all over the world. The artist made his debut with a 3-minute film Tom Sweep (1992), attracting attention with the lightness of narration, sense of humour and unique moves of the main character. Made two years later, the film The Monk and the Fish (1994) achieved overwhelming success worldwide, receiving acclaim as one of the best animations in 1990s.
The Monk and the Fish won an Oscar nomination.
However, it was his subsequent film which was awarded this prize. Made in 2000, the film Father and Daughter also won a BAFTA award and the Grand Prix in Annecy. It is an extraordinarily subtle, both in terms of narration and visual effects, story about separation of the main characters. Throughout her whole life, the daughter keeps coming back to the place, where she saw her father for the last time. Finally, at the end of her life she decides to follow him, maybe led by the conviction that she will have a chance to see him once more. This sophisticated, subtle film, in which the artist succeeded in capturing the nature of true yearning and eternal human desires, made Dudok de Wit one of the most important personas of contemporary artistic animation.
Before making his first feature film, in 2006 the artist made an abstraction The Aroma of Tea, using… tea infusion to create it. Like in The Monk and the Fish, the rhythm of the film story is dictated by the music of Dudok’s favourite composer and baroque virtuoso, Arcangelo Corelli.
The latest film by Dudok is a long-awaited feature film The Red Turtle. Its production was initiated and made in cooperation with the famous Japanese Studio Ghibli. Dudok de Wit thus became the first foreigner, whom the company owned by Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata offered production and artistic cooperation. The film tells the story about a castaway who landed on a desert island.
Michaël Dudok de Wit, an artist famous for his perfectionism, an admirer of Yuriy Norshteyn and of Chinese and Japanese art. For several years we have been inviting him to the festival Etiuda&Anima, but he kept answering that he couldn’t come as he was busy with his new film. This year we can finally watch the result of his work of several years, remind ourselves most of his films, watch the unknown, but easily recognizable commercials and – let’s hope – have a closer look at his virtuosic technique.
Self-Portraits of Animation Authors I – Michaël Dudok de Wit
Screenings of the films:
The Red Turtle
Father and Daughter
The Aroma of Tea
25th November (Friday), 5:00 PM
Kijów Centrum – Main Room
The Longing of Michaël Dudok de Wit
25th November (Friday), 3:00 PM
Kijów Centrum – Studio Room