MoFo MC May: Fantastic Planet (1973)

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The Movie Forums Podcast - 5/18/14
Movie Club: La PlanŤte Sauvage (Fantastic Planet) - 1973



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Guest star: Raul! I hope the rest of you (especially who voted) watched and are ready to enjoy the podcast, bestow unto us your ramblings.

Note: this is not the thread of remembrance for the blue man genocide.








Iím not great at explaining my thoughts on films but Iíll give it a try.

I first saw Fantastic Planet in my teens, I think. Itís possible I saw it when I was younger, but I consider my first viewing to be in my teens, because thatís when it was really cemented as one of my favorite films. I used to be kind of an artist, and Fantastic Planet inspired me like nothing else. I actually remember printing out screenshots and trying to learn crosshatching by tracing them. I absolutely adore its art style. Itís really a film where you could take just about any frame and put it up on the wall as a piece of art. People have called it stale, but I think the lack of fluid motion is part of the charm, really. It adds to the unique, alien feel of the film.

The score is my favorite score in film. Iíve listened to the soundtrack over and over again, and Iíve never gotten bored with it. I used to drive around and listen to it, trying to come up with story ideas, and again it inspired me to think up weird stories.

Lastly, I think this is the greatest portrayal of an alien world in cinematic history. Iíve never seen anything better. Itís surreal and weird, and itís absolutely beautiful. Every viewing of Fantastic Planet has been a profound experience for me.

Hereís a painting my sister made for me for Christmas 2008.




Happy to hear about that, I have those kinds of influences too, not with this movie as intensely as other things, but still glad to see that kind of impact.

I guess I have to ask if the movie inspired you enough to learn French?



Great podcast. It sounds like all three of you liked it. Here are some comments:

- I never made the comparison between the art style of this film and Monty Python. That's a good comparison, even though I think both are still unique in their own way.

- I like that Raul mentioned that Oms reminding him of ants. Every time I watch the stepping on Oms scene, I am reminded of ants.

- I agree about the ending being a parallel to the Cold War. Fantastic Planet has a lot of parallels, it seems.

- I do think The Savage Planet would be a better English title for the film, but I'm used to Fantastic Planet.

- Please don't kill my avatar!

Happy to hear about that, I have those kinds of influences too, not with this movie as intensely as other things, but still glad to see that kind of impact.

I guess I have to ask if the movie inspired you enough to learn French?
It didn't, but I have taken French classes in High School and college and love listening to the language, even if I can't remember much of it myself. I can't stand the English version of Fantastic Planet, the voices all sound off to me and the original French recording is magnificent.

All I can really remember about the language myself is: Je m'appelle Swan!



I've finally listened to it. Feels very weird listening to myself.

I'm with you Swan on the whole score thing. I know people are a bit up in the air on whether or not the score for the film worked, but like I said, it's a pretty addictive tune in my book.

One thing I didn't hit on that I wanted to was when Ter was whistling to break the crystals after being taught to do that (or so I assumed). I'm wondering the meaning of this, I took it to be like a human teaching their pet how to lay down, sit or roll over, but by teaching this, they made Ter gain some confidence in what he is able to do.

I found it fascinating how many of the ohms simply didn't trust Ter when he met up with them in their "neighborhood". I think it's because they believe the Draags tried to sort of hypnotize Ter in a way.

I got lost in a lot of the references to the Cold War initially, but I do see the parallels now that I think of it. Just something I would have probably missed without a true discussion on it.

The visuals were mesmerizing to me. It is unlike anything I have ever seen from its time period and it was very captivating to me. If anything, one must truly be appreciative of this.

Like I think it is assumed, I very much enjoyed the film. I would give it probably a 8.5/10 or maybe even a 9/10. I really enjoyed it and that may shock some.

And I apologize for my birds.



I still need to listen to the previous one, but now I get to hear raul...cool.
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Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
At the end of the podcast, when Yoda mentioned the Beatles movie which is pointless, and winter says Yellow Submarine, you guys finally connected with what I was thinking the whole time. The themes, the visuals, the music, etc. which you were discussing as unique (and to a point they are) were also seen and heard in Yellow Submarine. Too bad you didn't mention anything else about it except that it's pointless.

Maybe I'll add some more about Fantastic Planet later.
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28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
I'd love to hear interviews with members about their favourite films......but that's for another thread.
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At the end of the podcast, when Yoda mentioned the Beatles movie which is pointless, and winter says Yellow Submarine, you guys finally connected with what I was thinking the whole time. The themes, the visuals, the music, etc. which you were discussing as unique (and to a point they are) were also seen and heard in Yellow Submarine. Too bad you didn't mention anything else about it except that it's pointless.

Maybe I'll add some more about Fantastic Planet later.
I haven't seen Yellow Submarine since I was a kid. I should watch it again, it looks like something I would like.



I was talking to my wife about Fantastic Planet shortly after we'd recorded the podcast, and I thought of a lot of things I wish I'd said. So I'll just say them now!

I touch on this in the podcast a little, but the more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that the film's about knowledge more than anything else. Obviously, the Oms are oppressed, but the why is the focus: they're oppressed because they're ignorant. They don't deserve to be treated like animals, but they do act like them, drinking blood, participating in Pagan-esque sexual rituals, and fighting amongst themselves despite sharing a much larger common threat. And it's their disposal of these things that ultimately gains them equality. They stop being oppressed when they know enough to realize they are being oppressed.



At first, I thought it was odd how quickly they utilized technology and put themselves on even (or perhaps even superior) footing to the Draags. But the more I think about it, the more it makes sense: the Oms cherish their knowledge, because they have to struggle to get it. Terr uses the learning device whenever he gets a chance, whereas Tiwa has to be scolded into doing it, like most children with their homework. Terr has to drag the device around with him in order to continue learning.

It's like that quote from Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park (emphasis added): "I'll tell you the problem with the scientific power that you're using here: it didn't require any discipline to attain it."

The Draags are complacent. They are decadent. They take their knowledge for granted and spend all day in some sort of meditative sex state. Nobody notices or cares when an Om makes off with one of their learning devices. But when one of them interferes with their Space Sex Waltz? Sound the freakin' alarms.



There's probably a lot more to say about this, and I expect reading the source material (a book) might shed a little light on the original intent. But I think there's a lot here about not just oppression, but the kinds of indirect ways that people either become oppressors, or allow themselves to stay oppressed.
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It's entirely possible the creators had the subject of knowledge in mind. I think the story is simple enough and universal enough that you can pull a lot from it. That's one of my favorite things about it.

I, ashamed to say, have not read the book. Maybe I should, but I've found reading a book can make its film adaptation feel really short, like it's hitting the cliffnotes. On the other hand, maybe the book simply expands on the Draag society and all it's complexities, which would be interesting to read about.



Finished here. It's been fun.
Awesome podcast guys, wish I could offer some insight into the film but I think I'd need to watch it at least one more time to truly write an insightful little essay. I will however write some notes on what I thought was really damn cool with the film.

Obviously the animation is....very unique. Definitely a visual treat, and I love the designs of the the creatures we see in the film, they are badas*. I mean just look at this picture, how cool is that?



But stepping aside from my praise of the animation, I really like how this film shows humans as little insignificant ants. It's a nice role change, and it's rather funny in a way. Human-Beings are arrogant, and we believe we are in charge.We're the big guys in the universe and every other creature is at our heels. But what would happen, if we were the insignificant little beings? I'm not quite sure if there's one blunt interpretation of what the film is trying to say, be it an allegory or whatever. But I think that's awesome. Every person watching it can form a different interpretation.

I definitely underrated this one when I posted my
rating of it in the Movie Tab, so i'll give it another go sometime.



I'm glad you hit on the creatures Lucas. They were very interesting to me, these Pokemon inspirations. I wanted to hit on it more in the podcast, but I was a rookie after all.



At first, I thought it was odd how quickly they utilized technology and put themselves on even (or perhaps even superior) footing to the Draags. But the more I think about it, the more it makes sense: the Oms cherish their knowledge, because they have to struggle to get it. Terr uses the learning device whenever he gets a chance, whereas Tiwa has to be scolded into doing it, like most children with their homework. Terr has to drag the device around with him in order to continue learning.
Very interesting observation. Appreciation of knowledge is still a very modern issue. The sincere curiosity and inventive use of their acquired knowledge is ultimately what makes the Oms prevail. Knowledge is power when used in the proper manner.

Apart from the obvious references to slavery and all that, I think Fantastic Planet is also just a very interesting criticism of our modern human attitude. The Draags' complacency is very sharply portrayed and their blindness and lack of empathy for the Oms is a very clear result of that. They don't use their developed state of general intelligence as they should.
This complacency actually makes them lose the curiosity for knowledge and understanding that the Oms (on the other hand) are starting to acquire. The Draags fight against what they can't control or understand, but ultimately that only makes the situation worse. A more studious and progressive approach would have been much more appropriate than the hostile attitude they ultimately adopt.

It really is a film full of interesting themes and ideas. Besides that I also enjoyed the beautiful, unique visuals and the atmosphere of this film (the music score adds a very peculiar and effective mood for instance).

It's definitely a film that I would rewatch in the future! I enjoyed it thoroughly.

My current rating would be
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Just listened to this and the Cries and Whispers, it was great. Thanks a lot to those who participated and I look forward to the next podcast.