Midnight Madness day 9: A Town Called Panic (Panique Au Village) (2009)

Throughout TIFF, Kris and Joe will be doing "shared" reviews, in which we'll offer our opinions on a particular film in a single post. This is day 9.
aka The Cowboy and the Frenchman?

A Town Called Panic is Belgian stop-motion animation at its finest, coming from the warped minds of the creators of Man Bites Dog.  It was incredibly hilarious at the start, but it went on too long, even at a scant 70 minutes (minus credits).  Had this come in at about 25 minutes (+/-), it would have been perfect, leaving me wanting more, and hugely satisfied with what I had seen.

Not much more I have to say about this one, it is a kids show in Belgium, after all.  I wonder if Flemish adults laugh hysterically at Teletubbies?

I thought this one was so funny and it kept me laughing because I imagined the goings on in this film to be the inside of Jules' head.  Yes, it's that funny.  I laughed the whole bike ride home.  Papa!   I liked the farmer.

-the coelacanth
Last night brought Joe and I to A Town Called Panic.
A French family film based on a television series of the same name.

It's a stop motion animation film using toys you'd find in any kids collection (cowboys, indians, farm animals).
The hyper pace and absurdity delivers some heavy laughs but at about the one hour mark the novelty starts to wear thin.
This is the sort of thing you'd see on Robot Chicken, just without all the pop culture references, and proves why that show is only 15 minutes long.

Sort of like a long, yet more bizarre and funny, episode of Pingu.
You're laughing at it because it's loud and, as testament to the village's name, feels panicked. 

If only it were cut down about 15 minutes this would be an absurd masterpiece, the lack of moral tale beneath all the running around is what makes this truly special for me. It's all about the face pace and yelling without some moral tale about talking to strangers, or staying in school. No, the film just wants to be insane for insanity's sake. Man... the French are weird.

Actually, it's more like watching Jule's brain for 75 minutes.

Ok, it's almost over, just one more movie... can Joe and I make it through Ong Bak 2 without a flying elbow to the jaw? we'll see..



Britarded said...

A night inside Jules brain? Not for less than 3.50 an hour thank you. It's funny, you both seem to make inference to 'a town called malice' by the Jam. Whenever anyone asks me the coolest person I ever met I mention I once met Paul Weller and all I get is blank stares. The Jam? No? Style Council? No? Seriously though, die die die choke on my snobby girth.

La Sporgenza said...

......a shift Juan-Tom.

$3.50 a shift, not an hour.

immigrants.... Jezuz.

Mr. Scratch said...

I also thought of "a town called malice" when hearing the title of this film. style council and the jam are totally awesome!

Anonymous said...

A Town Called Panic was bad, boring, not funny children's movie that should have never been placed in the Midnight Madness program. Sponge Bob Squarepants is funnier, edgier and better looking animation then this insult to the animation world.