Yesteday I read an interview in the paper with Enki Bilal. He is a French cartoonist and film director and is known for the graphic novels such as The Nikopol trilogy (La Foire aux Immortels, La Femme Piège and Froid Équateur) .
I know his name because I saw his movie Immortal (2005), an adaptation of La Foire aux immortels (The Carnival of Immortals). This movie was produced by Jean-Jacques Annaud, who you might know from Seven Years in Tibet or Enemy at the Gates or L’Ours (The Bear).
I am not going to give you a detailed plot: there are far more better sites you can consult for that if you’re interested.
Visually it is a very nice movie. It is a bit out there though. I think you need to be a fan or avid reader of Bilal’s work to appreciate it. Otherwise you think: “What kind of thing is this? Why did he just do that? Wha?”. The whole movie, well practically, was shot on a digital backlot (no, Sin City was not the first to do that!)
I had never read or heard about him and I had difficulties with the story (and couple of scenes). I had seen trailers and when my brother bought the dvd, I wanted to find out what it really was about. Set in the future with altered humans and mythical beings … I think I need to watch it again or at least read the comics.
I have leafed through his novels, but I’m not sure it’s quite my taste. Maybe I need to really commit to reading one, cover to cover, to get the attraction. But such a dark and pessimistic comic might not be the right thing for me.