Denver Film Festival artistic director Matt Campbell is again offering his must-see picks for each day of the event, which continues through November 14. Keep reading to get his take on the selection for Thursday, November 11: Archipelago.
Directed by Félix Dufour-Laperrière
7:30 p.m. Thursday, November 11
AMC House 10
4:45 p.m. Friday, November 12
AMC House 10
Also available online
When Matt Campbell dubs Archipelago "a strange little film," his tone is admiring. Still, the flick is admittedly tough to categorize. The best label he can come up with is "animated documentary," but the picture is more complicated than that. "Actually, it's a very loose documentary, in the sense that it's more of a lyrical retelling of history than a factual account," he maintains. "It's a true animated film about invented islands — a real or dream country, or something in between."
The specific focus, he continues, is "a territory in Quebec and the environmental landscape there within it. The film gets into the folk history of the people and the inhabitants, and there is a structure to it, where they talk about this archipelago and the formation of the islands and the communities there. But it's much more poetic than a traditional narrative."
The animation, for its part, "is very beautiful and very engrossing, often like a painting brought to life, but some are more psychedelic," Campbell concludes. "I'm a sucker for weird animation, and this one is very much off the beaten path."
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.