The French animation film Mune (also known as the Guardian of the Moon) was highly appreciated in Viet Nam for its original story with unique characters when it was presented to the public last week. It is a fantasy film about a universe in which the sun and moon are protected by guardians. Mune, a small and candid forest faun (half-human, half-goat) who's a free-spirited dreamer, is unexpectedly selected to be the new guardian of the moon, a heavy responsibility that leads him to discover his supernatural power.
The movie is based off an original story idea by Benoit Philippon who is also co-director of the movie.
He talks with Bach Lien about the film.
Where did you get the idea of making this film?
I had in mind this image of this little guy who was unhooking the moon. Poetic and simple. Only animation films could provide me the tools to illustrate such a powerful image. I imagined that the moon would be as big in the hands of this little guy as it is in the sky. The moon would then be vulnerable, thus would need a guardian to protect it. So, it would be the same for the sun. All of a sudden, this question arises: what if someone would want to steal the Sun, if it was vulnerable? It was the starting point of this adventure.
What were the difficulties that you met when you were making the film?
The most challenging part in making films, any kind of film, is the storytelling. Keep it intense and simple at the same time, try to keep the right balance between poetry, adventure, comedy, romance. This balance of having a moving adventure that would be meaningful was the challenge throughout all the technical steps of the making of the film. Always focus on what is good for the story and what will convey the right emotion.
I know that the film was presented in Russia and Italy before it was presented in Viet Nam. What was the reaction of the public when it watched the film?
It was a big hit both in Italy and in Russia, especially Russia where we had more than 1 millions tickets sold at the box office. The film has a universal meaning, so I guess there's no frontiers. It can travel all over the world and reach its audience.
Is the French public still attracted to French animated movies, while Hollywood movies dominate the world?
French audiences are open to all kind of cinemas, coming from all over the world. Like in every country, Hollywood films have an important impact, but French cinema is also very well received by French audiences and expectations are high, from the parents and from the children, towards French movie makers.
You visited Viet Nam for the first time 15 years ago. What was your impression when you came back this time?
I love this country. I think it's one of the most charming, graceful and delightful countries I've visited. People are very nice, the landscapes are amazing, and the colours are very inspiring. I could put a camera anywhere and shoot, it would be incredibly cinematic. I'd love to visit more of the countryside, and especially the jungle. I'd love to come back one day and maybe shoot some scenes or an entire film in Viet Nam. We'll see. — VNS