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Miyazaki - Moebius

Hayao Miyazaki is the now worldwide famous Japanese director of animation jewels like Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away (Chihiro), and some time away of Totoro and its unforgettable cat-bus.
Jean Giraud, also known as Moebius, is one of the emblematic figures of French bande dessinée, co-creator of Blueberry under the name of Giraud, but mostly of innovative fantasy / sci-fi strips under the name of Moebius.

The joint exhibition is the occasion to demonstrate a couple of similarities in both their works, as well as marvel at the fact that there could be such a phenomenon of resonance between two artists from very different backgrounds.


An interesting (but untranscribable) piece of it is a joint or rather mutual interview of Moebius and Miyazaki, comparing their influence on each other (Miyazaki, along with other manga authors, found out about Moebius' Arzach in the early 80es, and Moebius watched obsessively Nausicaa, Miyazaki's first animated masterpiece, before it was even translated in another language than Japanese) and their views on creation and life.

Intellectual comparative studies set aside, the fluffy cat-bus lover in me squealed quite a few while looking at cells and design works from Totoro or Chihiro...
I am less of a fan of Moebius - though I actually think I know less of his work than I do of Miyazaki's... But I found out in this exhibition that he, like Giger, had worked on Jodorowski's attempt to adapt Dune as a movie. By lack of producers, the movie was never filmed, and instead it's Dino De Laurentiis who produced David Lynch's version.

However... despite the loss of seeing that Moebius had done a full 400 pages story-board for the movie, his character designs made me rather happy that their version wasn't filmed. Moebius' "sci-fi" style is a bit too bright and colorful, and it's hard to imagine his clown-like Baron Harkonnen sitting on Giger's black techno-organico-skeletal furniture...

And well, the exhibition's guide only has a few of the works exposed, but if you can stretch your imagination for Wladimir Harkonnen enough based on his "decadent" lifestyle, Moebius' Atreides were... Err... Oh dear. Way way too colorful. Black and green are their color. And the Duke Leto is known for having raven black hair, not to look like a white-permed space hero...

Sorry. Lynch's version has not aged very well, but casting wise, Leto will always be Jürgen Prochnow for me, and Lady Jessica was top notch too, and... Yeah. Casting wise, nothing beats the movie (the TV mini-series, though extremely faithful to the text, really pales in comparison).
And for the designs of the distils and the uniforms and such, it has modeled my idea of Dune permanently (the costumes in the mini-series had me rolling on the floor laughing of the bad taste and impracticality. Even the Queen Amidala's dresses and hairdos were... well, at least she was the only one wearing that kind of improbable stuff).

And this has turned into a comparative review of the Dune adaptations, but it's hard to describe an exhibition, and I'm not willing to cerebralize it too much. Mostly it made me want to watch Mononoke and Chihiro and Totoro again. And the music from the montage of their movie works (Tron, Abyss, 5th Element for Moebius, and Miyazaki's animated features) made a nice background sound taking you away.
Yeah, I found out that Moebius had designed the aliens of the end of Abyss. And stuff for Tron, it seems? And stuff for the Fifth Element, but I wasn't that big of a fan of that one...

Another interesting feature was a documentary on the making of Mononoke. Among other things, they ran out of their schedules until they decided to resort to computer colorization of cells, and did the work of 3 months in one with it.