54. La Joie de Vivre – Anthony Gross, Hector Hoppin

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SUMMARY: Two young women caper and frolic among urban and country landscapes, pursued by a man who has inadvertently acquired one of their shoes.

WHY IT’S HERE: Anthony Gross and Hector Hoppin’s ‘La Joie de Vivre’ is a little known animation which I am amazed remains such a buried treasure. Amidst the classic narrative cartoons of the Golden Age, ‘La Joie de Vivre’ stands out as a joyous experiment in fluid, controlled animated movement which seems decades ahead of its time. In fact, ‘La Joie de Vivre’ could easily pass as a modern day work, its crisp black and white seeming like a choice rather than a necessity. The film shifts from location to location so smoothly, through the mesmerising movements of the characters, particularly their billowing, stiff dresses which jut up and down and back and forth as they leap and tumble through the air. A masterpiece of animation that deserves to be uncovered by a wider audience.

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