Spectral color

Ale Abreu from Brazil talks about “Perlimps”, color and animation technique

More than a coming-of-age movie,”Perlimps», the third feature film by Alȇ Abreu, nominated for the Oscars («The boy and the world”), could be seen as a dazzling love letter for children.

Perlimps” encourages children’s awareness of social and ecological issues and a taste for art, while delivering a film of artistic ambition and visual complexity.

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The story centers on Claé and Bruô, secret agents from the enemy kingdoms of the Sun and the Moon sent to an enchanted forest threatened by giants. The only way to protect the forest is to join forces and find the Perlimps, mysterious creatures who might have the solution for peace.

“Perlimps” is produced by Sao Paulo-based producer-directors Laís Bodansky and Luiz Bolognesi of Buriti Filmes and Ernesto Soto.

Sold by the Belgians of Best Friend Forever, it is screened in the official selection of Annecy as a special event. Brazilian musician-turned-director Alȇ Abreu delivers a visually lush tale about friendship alongside bold animation techniques in his new feature.

Did you have a specific target audience in mind when making “Perlimps”?

I always imagined the audience as a broad spectrum, including parents, teenagers, and children. It never occurred to me that we were making a children’s film. I was more driven by my own desire to explore the color palette and try out a more complex technique after the minimalism of “The Boy and the World”.

The film could be considered in a way as a love letter for children, awakening in them, among other things, a taste for art through its singular use of colors….

Color gives us many layers of expression and vibration. Using the full spectrum of colors allows me to convey feelings that I couldn’t otherwise express in words. I loved starting with the backgrounds made with colored ink hand drawings in a very loose way. And then almost randomly using the spots of color to find the scenography of each scene. I will be delighted and honored if it also awakens a taste for art in children. But I admit that it was not on my radar. Or maybe it was but in an unconscious way.

Among your frequent inspirations is Studio Ghibli, but apart from animation, do you have other references in other fields, perhaps French painters?

I have always been influenced by painting. When I envision a scene, my first approach is that of a painter rather than an animator, arranging elements and colors. There is a plastic pleasure for me in making a film that does not detach from the narrative intentions. More so, I believe it strengthens the process.

About references in “Perlimps” I would of course mention Matisse’s paper cutouts. But there are many more. And I think they’re so mixed up in my work that I can’t identify them anymore.

Could you summarize the techniques used in “Perlimps”?

Indeed, in this film we had tremendous freedom to combine techniques and tools. We used hand drawn ink blots. Traditional 2D, 3s animation [holding drawings for three frames] and by 2s [two frames], depending on the scene. We also used 3D for some objects that would be rendered in 2D.

The movie also gives kids a sense of the edgy world they live in….

I believe the film became clearer and clearer as we got to the end. Things have gotten pretty ugly in Brazil, but polarization and confrontation is happening everywhere. Now we even have a terrible war in the heart of Europe. The inspiration for this film came from a vision of childhood as a physical space or territory – the enchanted forest – where everything would be possible, where there would be no barriers to friendship and where we would find a connection with nature and with every living being.

The film also has an environmental conscience….

I was not always aware of the ecological message. Perhaps because I live in Brazil, where preserving the Amazon rainforest is a great challenge and responsibility, we have a greater awareness of the dangers of deforestation and the importance of learning from indigenous communities. natives how we can live in harmony with nature. On the other hand, I strongly believe that we are raising a new generation of children with a greater awareness of the environment, and that gives me hope.

Given your working system, you may already be preparing your next film. Could you anticipate certain aspects of it?

In fact, I’ve already done a few sketches of what my next project will probably be. Indeed, it will be a more minimalist project but it will be a tale of childhood and coming of age, and will likely establish a strong dialogue with “The Boy and the World” and even with “Perlimps”. I think we always try to tell a similar story with different tools and techniques, maybe from a different point of view. But the essential remains.

Perlimps - Credit: Credit: Best Friend Forever

Perlimps – Credit: Credit: Best Friend Forever

Credit: Best Friend Forever

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