France / Czechoslovakia, 1973 (MIFF 2017, Sci-Fi,Special Events)

Director: René Laloux

Forty-four years after it won the Special Prize at Cannes, the surreal animated allegory of Fantastic Planet is still one of the strangest, most alien experiences you can have in a cinema!

Directed by René Laloux (whose short The Snails screened at MIFF in 1967) and given its uniquely trippy visual appeal by surrealist Roland Topor, Fantastic Planet takes viewers to the Dali-esque world of Ygam where the human-ish Oms live like pets, or vermin, to the gigantic, intellectually advanced, blue-skinned Draags … until an Om named Terr, raised from infancy in a Draag household, escapes into the wild with access to his masters’ knowledge.

Topor, who along with Alejandro Jodorowsky (The Holy Mountain, MIFF 2015) and Fernando Arrabal co-founded the surrealist Panic Movement, wrote the screenplay with Laloux, adapting Stefan Wul’s novel Oms en série into a sci-fi parable on everything from racism and animal rights to systematic oppression and state-sponsored terrorism.

The uncanny animation, reminiscent of Monty Python’s Flying Circus as much as Hieronymus Bosch paintings, enhances the film’s otherworldliness; as does the psychedelic score by Alain Goraguer, which for MIFF has been reinterpreted by Melbourne prog-rock/jazz fusion group Krakatau, who will perform it live alongside the film as part of this special festival-only Hear My Eyes screening.

'A sci-fi fable of extraordinary beauty, cruelty and strangeness … recognized as one of the most important animated films aimed at adults.' – Pop Matters

Hear My Eyes screenings are audio-visual events that push the conventions of film and sound beyond their familiar forms. Translating the original cinematic experience for the 21st century, the Hear My Eyes team work with local musicians to reinterpret a film’s soundtrack and perform it live at the screening.

Please note: this event is not available on a MIFF Mini Pass or Passport.

See also...

The Snails

An alarming story of a town taken over by huge snails. ... Grand Prix du Animation, Tours Festival; Grand Prix, Mamaia Festival; Special Jury Prize, Cracow Festival; Jury Prize, Trieste Festival. ... More »


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Often called the Czech Méliès, Karel Zeman was one of the world's most inventive animators and his uniquely poetic magnum opus is the first steampunk film, gloriously bringing the stories and visuals ... More »


Jindřich Polák's pioneering sci-fi masterpiece is little known, but its DNA can be seen throughout the genre, from Star Trek to 2001: A Space Odyssey … and beyond! ... In 2163, the Ikarie XB-1 is on a... More »


Hot on the vapour trails of his new sci-fi romp Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, go back to where it all began for Luc Besson, with this striking 1983 debut starring his Cinéma du look col... More »


"As close to pure existential cinema as American filmmaking is likely to get these days … All is Lost [is an] emotionally resonant one-man showcase for Robert Redford." - Variety ... The talk of Canne... More »

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