Saturday, August 30, 2008
Directed by Dominique Monfery, written by Salvador Dalí and
John Hench, USA, 2003, 6min
It was 1945 when Spanish painter Salvador Dali and Walt Disney began working on Destino; ten months later the Project stopped. Some said Destino’s production halted due to budget reasons, others said the film deviated from Disney’s original idea. It took 58 years for the film to finally premier at the Annecy International Animation Festival (June, 2003).
The plot of the animated short is very simple: the struggle of two lovers to be together. But it is told in a very unconventional –surreal– way. For six minutes a woman and a man-statue, who comes to life, dance and morph in a Dali style world. Dali’s paintings (think of Persistence of the Memory) always had rhythm and motion to them; Destino finally gives us that motion. But, that motion can be confusing for other people.
As in art, people can interpret Destino in many different ways. Some of the elements remind me of Un Chien Andalou, a moon rising from behind the clouds as they rapidly move let to right, a close-up of a hand with ants coming out of the palm, and French men in black suits riding bikes. In a way, Destino is less bizarre than Un Chien Andalou and “easier” to interpret. The scenario is ever changing and moving keeping the two apart. Dali’s signature limp watches seem to represent the pain the lovers live each minute they are separated and how eternal each of those minutes can feel.
Each of the 6min feel and look like Dali, not a frame of Disney, but only18sec of the short were created by him. A team 25 artists worked on the final piece for two years; they only had Dali’s story boards and paintings and his wife Gala’s journal. Monfrey’s team succeeded at recreating Dali’s style and designing the missing pieces. Since it’s premier in 2003 the short has been screened in museums but that year the short was screened before Disney’s feature Lady Killers*. In the screening I attended, the audience didn’t really know what to do with it, makes wonder would the reaction had been back in 1946.
*At least in Latin America, I don’t know about the US.
**Destino is expected to be released in DVD in November, 2008