Literal Relations: Edgard

An Absurd yet Touching Animation Exploring Familial Misunderstandings and Disconnections

With a hazy father, an angelic cousin and a sister with a mask permanently enveloping half of her face, Edgard is a character that sees people literally, in terms of the relationship he has with them. This absurdly theatrical, animated movie partly influenced by absurd theatre such as Dubillard’s or Lonesco’s, offers a glimpse into the eponymous lead character’s experience of life and relationships.

‘We were inspired by our personal experiences, situations that could happen in one of our European family meetings; the fact that we don’t really know or understand one other,’ explained Eve Ceccarelli, one of the five animators that contributed to the film at Gobelins School of Digital Communications in Paris, France.

‘Even if we have these obligatory meetings and big dinners with so many people in the room,’ Eve told us, ‘the children grow up, parents age and sometimes even our cultures and ideas grow different. Nobody understands anybody anymore.’

In the team was also animators Maud Girard, Mathieu Gouriou, Léo Schweitzer and Raphaëlle Stolz.

The Plus: What was the process behind creating it?
Eve Ceccarelli:
We had a lot of meetings after we settled on the main idea. We read books and extracts (Les Dialogues by Roland Dubillard and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks and others) and shared the visual references we liked. We also sought advice and new references from professors and fellow students. We wrote a lot of different scenarios and dialogues, discussed together and chose what could be the most efficient.

TP: How did you collaborate on this, and delegate the tasks?
We were all involved in the scenario. For the visual development Raphaelle Stolz and Maud Girard handled most of the work and proposed their different visions and design explorations to the rest of team. Raphaelle did the character designs and the background line arts, and Maud Girard did all of the coloring. Léo Schweizer, Mathieu Gouriou and I handled the animation while sharing advice and helping one another.

TP: What would you like people to come away thinking or feeling after watching this film?
We would like to drag people into this absurd universe and make them feel this strange family situation and the misunderstanding between the members of the family. We don’t think that it’s important that everybody understands the entire story. The movie is not only about family links but also about Edgar’s feelings too. We would like the public to relate to Edgar.