Tales of the Night

When Type E and I decided to escape the big city, our Philadelphia friends expressed concern for our cultural well-being. No more Philadelphia Film Festival, Philadelphia Film Society, Philadelphia Orchestra, Fringe Festival, or 215 Festival. We would be doomed to a life of lackluster multiplex movies, forced to live vicariously through tweets and Netflix recommendations from urban folks.

Looking back at 2012, I can say it’s not so–it just takes a bit of searching and driving.

A highlight was yesterday’s Tales of the Night screening at Images Cinema in Williamstown. We drove an hour to see this French, computer-animated spectacle, a collection of six tales told through shadow puppet silhouettes set against gloriously-colored skies, savannahs, secret fairy dwellings, golden cities, and underground cave worlds.

The juxtaposition of the flat, black characters and the colorful backdrops are enough to make Tales of the Night unique. But this screening was in 3D, so the silhouettes popped from their settings, much like shoebox diorama people crafted by kids for school projects.

The stories are set all over the world, and even if you don’t like them, you can’t help but marvel at how beautifully they’re told. But I loved them, these stories told in the tradition of Arabian Nights.

Vive le cinéma!