Thursday, May 26, 2011

Les Escargots - René Laloux / Roland Topor (1965)

A gardener tries his best to make his salad plants grow. It is only when
he cries that his tears finally water the field and the salads grow huge.
The incredible size attracts a multitude of snails that quickly become
giant too, causing disasters and panic in the nearby city.

René Laloux (July 13, 1929–March 14, 2004) was a French animator and film director.
He was born in Paris in 1929 and went to art school to study painting. After some time working in advertising, he got a job in a psychiatric institution where he began experimenting in animation with the interns. It is at the psychiatric institution that he made 1960's Monkey's Teeth (Les Dents du Singe), in collaboration with Paul Grimault's studio, and using a script written by the Cour Cheverny's interns.

Another important collaborator of his was Roland Topor with whom Laloux made Dead Time (Les Temps Morts, 1964), The Snails (Les Escargots, 1965) and his most famous work, the feature length Fantastic Planet (La Planète Sauvage, 1973).

Laloux also worked with Jean Giraud (Mœbius) to create the lesser known film Les Maîtres du temps (Time Masters) in 1981. Laloux's 1988 film, Gandahar, was released in the US as Light Years. The US version was redubbed by Harvey Weinstein, from a screenplay adapted by Isaac Asimov. The US version was not as successful as the French version, grossing less than $400,000 on its release.[1]

Laloux died of a heart attack on March 14, 2004 in Angoulême, Charente, Poitou-Charentes, France.


Feature Films
Short Films
  • Tick-Tock (1957)
  • Les Achalunés (1958)
  • The Monkey's Teeth (Les Dents du singe) (1960)
  • Dead Times (Les Temps morts) (1964)
  • The Snails (Les Escargots) (1965)
  • The Play (1975)
  • Quality Control (1984)
  • How Wang-fo Was Saved (Comment Wang-Fo fut sauvé) (1987)
  • The Captive (La Prisonnière) (1988)
  • Eye of the Wolf (L'Œil du loup) (1998) (screenwriter only)

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