A l'occasion de la parution de son livre "Identity in Animation: A Journey into Self, Difference, Culture and the Body", je publie ici l'interview que je lui ai accordée en mai 2016.
As her book "Identity in Animation: A Journey into Self, Difference, Culture and the Body" just came out, I share here the interview I gave to Jane Batkin in may 2016.
> * Un Jour has the appearance of being painted onto glass, but I
have read that it is created with ToonBoom's Tic Tac Toon animation
system. The scratchy and fluid look to the film is very effective and
appears as traditional animation. Why did you choose
My interest for animation comes from a young age. As a teenager I've
attended to a small animation festival nearby my parents' home, le
Festival de Baillargues. From the age of 14 to 17, I participated in 4
summer workshops that the festival organised.
In Baillargues, I discovered Norstein, Mark Baker, animation from
eastern countries. But films that overwhelmed me were "The Man who
Planted Trees" by Frederic Back, and "The Street" by Caroline Leaf.
A few years later, at age 21, in ENSAD Paris, as student I participate in the opening of the animation department.
There were no equipment for our first promo (apart from ONE 16mm rostrum), so each of the 12 of us had to find solutions.
As a few other ENSAD students, I had learned to use the software
Tic-Tac-Toon in the society which had developped it, while working on a
project by a FEMIS student.
So I asked this society (named 2001) if I could do my graduation film in their office.
Firstly, I tried to get on Tic-Tac-Toon the painted look of "the street"
of Caroline Leaf, but the vectorial software was not good for this, the
tools were too poor. So I quickly chose to work in the style of the
scratch card or lineolum etching I was doing
at the time. Instead of using the "pen" tool, I've used the "filling
zone" tool, which automatically drew a straight line between the start
and the end of each stroke. This gave a sharp look, close to etching.
The fluidity of the editing certainly comes from my admiration towards Leaf and Back.
The possibility of checking straight away the editing points, thanks to
the preview of the computer, helped me a lot in finding the best
> * Un Jour and Moi, l'autre both seem to be about wholeness and
incompleteness of relationships and of 'self'. In Un Jour, the man seems
to me like a baby in the womb, but the woman accepts his presence after
a time. Similarly, in Moi, l'autre the wholeness
of mother and child is fractured by the man on the 'outside' who enters
the 'inside'. Identity (and its loss) appears to be a strong theme in
these films. I wondered what inspired you to make these films?
Well the two films respond to each other.
"Un Jour" was certainly influenced by indie comics, specially by female
artists: Julie Doucet, Anke Feuchtenberger, Dominique Goblet were my
greatest heroes at that time.
In terms of writing, I was influenced by Henri Michaux ("Plume"). I
loved the way his stories, wrote in very simple words, went fantastic
with no ostentation at all, as if fantastic was actually natural. Before
making "Un Jour" as a graduation film, I had made
a piece out of "Plume" as an exercise.
What is missing in "Un Jour"? was the question I asked myself while writing "Me, the other". Well, if love is certainly the subject of "Un Jour", desire
is out of the story, which starts, elliptically, AFTER the encounter. I
felt I needed to make a film about desire, about what happens BEFORE the
encounter. Another question I wanted to answer in "Me, the other" is
"how to become an adult"?
The beginning shot and the end shot of "Me, the other" are symetrical.
In the first one, the woman is with her childhood (embodied as a child).
In the last one, instead of the woman, there is the man, and instead of
the childhood which has vanished, there is
the woman. The idea of the film is that, to become an adult, you have to
accept your part of childness. Also in the intimacy of a relationship.
After "Me, the other", I've made "The Garden", which deals with love, but also with pregnancy and with pleasure.
Since then, I've made other films ("Hubert the man with the candies",
"Pas Beau"...), they deal with love again (what else?) but they no
longer use the metaphorical writing I've been using in my first four
> * What value do you think women bring to the animation industry? Do you think women make films differently to men?
They bring value, as men do. They bring their experience of life, their
knowledge of human relationships, their existential questions.
Yes, differently: Women usually make films with less money and smaller teams than men.
> * The Animation Guild states that only 20% of animation workers are
women. What are your views on opportunities for women entering the
industry and do you think they have enough of a 'voice'?
Obviously there should be 50%. To work in animation, usually one doesn't need biceps.
My biceps are small. But my eyes and brain work fine.
Here in France, I've been working on a voluntary basis for more than a
year administrating a referencing website (which was initiated by
Florentine Grelier and her boyfriend Arthur Voncken):
We hope this tool will be useful, in order to reach the parity that most men and women look for.
> Thank you Marie!
Thanks a lot for your questions, please come back to me if any more.
Good luck with your book and editors!