While in Montreal I checked out their annual La Nouveau Cinema Festival. The festival features mainly art-house and independent films, and i managed to make it out to only one screening but here are my thoughts.
Metropia is an animated film set in the not so distant future in Europe. As the world's resources have dwindled away Europe has constructed a vast metro system connecting all European countries to the subway tunnels. In this black and grey noirish future people only use this metro to get around leaving the outside world quite bare. Our protagonist, Roger, is an average guy who works at a call center and has a paranoia of the metro. Because of this he bikes to and from work even though it is illegal. When he has no other option then to take the metro to work one day he starts to hear voices in his head and gets lost in the maze of tunnels and trains unwittingly uncovering a deep conspiracy involving the system.
The first thing that catches you with this film is the animation. It's spellbinding and for the first 30 minutes i found myself saying "wow" out loud many times. Once you've gotten used to how the picture looks and feels the story drives you through the 80 minute running time adequately, leaving you happy you took the ride. My only gripe with the story was that i felt it flip flopped from surrealism to realism too often never letting me let go enough or let me hang on for long. I didn't know if i was suppose to follow along with the clues to get a better sense of plot or let the film bring me to places for the imagery, and by the end i couldn't really tell you what happens in Metropia. It's a good film, but its lack of focus on where it was and what it wanted to say left me confused. I mostly understood how it wanted me to feel, i understood the metaphors and the satire, i just don't know what happened plot wise to the characters.
I was also surprised by the cast of voice actors on display here Vincet Gallo, Juliette Lewis, Stellan Skarsgard, and Udo Kier just to name a few. Personally i thought the film was going to be in Swedish so to hear familiar voices was a bit jarring.
I hope some of you will get the chance to check this film out soon so we can sit down and pick each others brains about it. I'm assuming with its captivating aesthetic and prolific cast this one should be hitting theaters or at least DVD in the coming year.