“It’s horror, it’s animation, and no one else has done it before” – Raul Garcia, filmmaker of Extraordinary Tales
But there’s a lot more to this extraordinary idea. We are talking about a high-caliber animator who has been working in animation all his life and brought into life the likes of Genie for the Aladdin, as well as numerous other characters that we all are very familiar with.
The world of the Extraordinary Tales, however, is very far from that of Disney animations. A few years ago Garcia made the decision to go independent. What sparked the idea and inspiration for this film, however, goes back much further in time…
Growing up in Spain, at the age of 12 he discovered a compilation of Poe’s stories – the first “adult” book he ever read. The experience sparked a life-long interest for horror, science fiction and fantasy. Blend in love for comic books and other visual arts, also since young age, it was only a question of “when” he could actually realise his dream for animating his favourite stories.
The movie contains tributes for numerous other artists that have inspired and fascinated Garcia throughout his life. The five selected Poe stories all have a distinctive stylistic approach. The art for the animation of “The Tell-Tale Heart”, story that was first published as a one-off short film, is inspired by an Argentinian comic book artist Alberto Breccia, one of the greatest comic book artist there is for Garcia. After the success of this first short, Garcia got inspired about the idea of making a feature that would include a selection of other Poe’s short stories. Deciding to follow the rules he had set for “The Tell-Tale Heart”, Garcia decided that the other selected stories would also all reconnect with all the artistic influences he has had throughout his life.
Matching the spirit of each story with influence from artists that would best suit the world of each story, the characters in “The Fall of the House of Usher” look like they were carved out of wood, a tribute to Czech animator Jirí Trnka. “The Masque of the Red Death” dances on the screen like moving painting, biggest influence coming from painters Egon Schiele and Pieter Bruegel. “The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar” first had the look of medical illustrations. But with such an over-the-top story (scientifically speaking the story, where a corpse is brought back to life, is not real although back in Poe’s days people actually believed it was!), this approach felt too cold and calculated to Garcia. He ended up creating the exaggerated spirit of the horror comic books he used to read as a kid. Then there is “The Pit and the Pendulum”, which is fine art blended with hyperrealism, combining elements from the painter Goya and Nicéphore Niépce – pioneer and inventor of photography. The story happens in a prison, a world Garcia created based in the carvings of Piranesi.
In addition to having a distinctive visual world for each of the stories, also the voice casting is incredible. It includes the likes of Bela Lugosi (beyond the grave!) and Christopher Lee, for whom Extraordinary Tales was his last film appearance before passing away. Music is composed by Sergio de la Puente and seems to give the final touch to the spirit and atmosphere of each segment, knitting the elements of each story together into a coherent yet multi-layered stories Garcia created to animate Poe’s work. A peek into Poe’s obsessive mind is offered through conversations between Poe (in the shape of the iconic raven) and Death, appearing in-between and weaving connections from the five shorts into his personal story.
Fusion x64 TIFF File
KINOS festival is proud to screen Extraordinary Tales on 19th March 2016 at 20:00. Entrance with KINOS-badge (5 €). Please note that the number of seats is limited!