Les Extraordinaires Mésaventures de la Jeune Fille de Pierre
I wanted to make a film that was about art and its relationship to politics. The film is a metaphor for art that wants to escape from the institutional restraints of the museum, and to become politically engaged in the ‘real world’.
A few of my films deal with politics. My most recent screenplays often focus on a naïve main character, lost in the midst of a chaotic contemporary crisis, or complex political context, such as Coughman in ARTIFICIAL HUMORS, the Predator drone in ENNUI ENNUI, or the title character in DIAMANTINO. The beauty of Hans Christian Andersen’s work often lies in the naiveté of its main characters, and this is something I really fell in love with when reading his work, and inspired me to write ARTIFICIAL HUMORS, DIAMANTINO and THE MARVELOUS MISADVENTURES OF THE STONE LADY.
I have always loved animation, from early Fleischer brothers’ rotoscoping experiments, to early Disney Mickey Mouse cartoons (which Eisenstein famously dubbed ‘America’s greatest invention’) and more recently Pixar films such as RATATOUILLE, INSIDE-OUT, etc. I think some of today’s most sophisticated and surprising mise-en-scéne, camerawork, aesthetics and storytelling come in the form of animation, especially in Pixar’s work, or films like KUNG-FU PANDA or THE LEGO MOVIE, all the while being stories with a lot of heart. Films such as RATATOUILLE were a big inspirartion on THE MARVELOUS MISADVENTURES OF THE STONE LADY.
For the past few years I have been making films that use a lot of special effects, sometimes homemade by me, but more and more often by the wonderful Lisbon-based CGI VFX company Irma Lucia.
THE MARVELOUS MISADVENTURES OF THE STONE LADY was a huge next step for me, in terms of stepping up the ambition of the animation and the logistics of the production (the film is shot at the Louvre), and I am really happy with the way it came out.
For the production we used a low-fi version of motion capture suits, where an actress was wearing a suit with tracking markers. We shot her acting out all of the scenes, and then we repeated the shots with no actors, to get a clean plate. Later the team at Irma Lucia would track her movement and use it as a reference for the animation of the sculpture.
MoCap is a technique first used by Max Fleischer in 1915 for the the dance in MINNIE THE MOOCHER, and then developed by Disney in the original CINDERELLA, and today is widely used in action or fantasy films like PLANET OF THE APES, AVATAR, and tons of video games, etc. I’m really passionate about the whole process from concept to modeling to animation and compositing, and it was really exciting to see these characters come to life.
I’m currently preparing two animation feature films. One, like THE MARVELOUS MISADVENTURES OF THE STONE LADY, is a mix of ‘real world’ on-set filming, with CGI principal characters, and another is full CGI.
He was been awarded prizes at the Berlinale, Locarno International Film Festival, among others.
2019 - THE MARVELOUS MISADVENTURES OF THE STONE LADY, short
2018 - DIAMANTINO, co-directed with Daniel Schmidt
2017 - THE ARTIFICIAL HUMORS, short
2016 - THE HUNCHBACK, short, co-directed with Ben Rivers
2016 - A BRIEF HISTORY OF PRINCESS X, short
2015 - FREUD UND FRIENDS, short
2014 - TAPROBANA, short
2013 - ENNUI ENNUI, short
2012 - ORNITHES - BIRDS, short
2012 - FRATELLI, short
2011 - BABY BACK COSTA RICA, short
2011 - LIBERDADE, short, co-directed with Benjamin Crotty
2011 - PALÁCIOS DE PENA, short, co-directed with Daniel Schmidt
2010 - A HISTORY OF MUTUAL RESPECT, short, co-directed with Daniel Schmidt
2009 - TOO MANY DADDIES, MOMMIES AND BABIES, short
2008 - ARABIC HARE, short
2008 - GUGG ‘N’ TATE, short
2008 - OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT, short
2008 - VISIONARY IRAQ, short, co-directed with Benjamin Crotty
2006 - OLYMPIA I & II, short, co-directed with Katie Widloski
2006 - DEAR GOD PLEASE SAVE ME, short
2006 - RAZOR THIN DEFINITION OF PUNK, short
2006 - ANARCHIST KING, short
Cast & Crew
Directed by: Gabriel Abrantes
Written by: Gabriel Abrantes
Produced by: Justin Taurand, Gabriel Abrantes
Cinematography: Kanamé Onoyama
Editing: Margarida Lucas
Production Design: Aurélien Deseez
Costume Design: Clément Vachelard
Make-Up & Hair: Aurélia Louis
Original Score: Gabriel Abrantes
Sound: Philippe Deschamps
Visual Effects: Carlos Almeida
Animation: Carlos Almeida
Cast: Liza Lapert (sculpture), Virgil Vernier (guide), Caroline Deruas (security guard)
Nominations and Awards
- European Short Film 2019
- Short Film Candidates 2019