Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Walerian Borowczyk's Les Jeux des Anges

Les Jeux des Anges is an animation about the experience of being taken to a concentration camp and of the dehumanizing mechanistic ways in which we exert our power. Borowczyks uses a succession of shots taken from a train, images of slate walls, various torture devices, and writhing headless bodies to make up his visual lexicon. Through his intricate sound design and minimalistic filmic vocabulary Borowczyk is able to produce a seriously haunting atmosphere. To my mind, the film uses the sparseness of the image in combination with the haunting soundscape to create the desired sense of disquiet in the viewer. The film is horrifying in a completely unconventional (and unexpected) sense because because it is so minimal. It precisely because of this it is bound to produce a sentiment in each viewer that is impossible to reconcile with the images we see. We color our perception of the horrors differentially, we bring our entire world with us. On a closing note, I do not understand the significance of the song that plays on the soundtrack very prominently for a time, perhaps it has some historical significance that escapes me. If anyone has an idea let me know. The film is complete in both parts below.