Slepa vrba, speča ženska / Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

Slepa vrba, speča ženska / Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

Synopsis

In Tokyo, not long after the 2011 earthquake, Kyoko suddenly leaves her husband Komura after spending five days glued to the news on TV. Komura takes a week’s leave from work and heads north to deliver a box and its unknown contents to two young women. His colleague Katagiri, a simple debt collector by profession and an awkward loner in life, returns home one evening to find a 7-foot-tall frog asking for his help to save Tokyo from a tsunami.
Through memories, dreams and visions, these characters attempt to rediscover their true selves.
A feature debut by composer Pierre Földes based on stories by the acclaimed Japanese author Haruki Murakami.

I discovered Haruki Murakami when I was living in New York, working freelance as a film score composer. I was instantly captivated by his style, where the supernatural and the commonplace rub together. He’s an author who brings a fresh perspective by telling stories about what is happening deep down inside of us by describing only the faint ripples on the surface.

These entangled stories tell how a life-changing event comes to be the trigger for an existential wake-up call. The way each story plays out is precisely what I wanted to accomplish with this film. I didn’t want to explain, give a conclusion, spell things out. Thus, at the end of the film, the characters haven’t resolved their problems but have managed to change course, come to a realization. That’s the subject of the film. I want to nourish spectators from the inside, so that once they’ve digested the film, it encourages them to take a look at themselves.

My goal was to create an atmosphere, something mysterious that sparks questions at every moment. The images are constructed for this purpose. I’m not trying to describe a reality but rather to transplant it on to a more expressionist vision to highlight what I feel is most important. For me that’s the crux of animation: to interpret the image, the scenery, the movements, but also to simplify them so the spectator can create their own vision of things.
So, background figures appear as shadows, either transparent or in colour depending on their importance in the shot. The scenery, which is mostly filled in, is occasionally shown as simple lines.
- Pierre Földes

Awards and festivals (selection):
- Jury Distinction, Annecy IAFF 2022
- Best Feature Cristal Nominee, Annecy IAFF 2022
- Golden Pyramid Nominee, Cairo IFF 2022
- Grand Prix Nominee, Ghent IFF 2022
- New Directors Competition, São Paolo IFF 2022
- Best Narrative Feature Nominee, Les Arcs FF 2022
- Grand Prize Nominee, Animafest Zagreb 2023

Film info

Directed by: Pierre Földes
Production: Cinéma Defacto/Miyu Productions/micro_scope/Doghouse Films/An Original Picture
Festival programme: Animated Feature Films
Year: 2022
Length: 110'
Country: France, Canada, Luxembourg, Netherlands