After successfully melding animation and documentary (two cinematic vocabularies that appear incompatible) in 2008’s “Waltz with Bashir,” director Ari Folman returns to the big screen with “The Congress,” a live action/animation mind-trip loosely inspired by Stanislaw Lem’s novel “The Futurological Congress.”
Taking a page from “Being John Malkovich” and “Cold Souls” (remember ‘Cold Souls’?), ‘The Congress’ sends another movie star playing herself (Robin Wright) into a trippy sci-fi/fantasy landscape. Desperate to take care of her ailing son, Wright lets a dubious company scan her image and personality for a mysterious project. She eventually finds herself in a 2D-animated future world that resembles Ralph Bakshi’s manic 1970s style. Despite less than stellar reviews, which tend to praise the film’s visual inventiveness while criticizing its overcrowded philosophical ambitions, one hopes that it’s better than Bakshi’s”Cool World.”
Now two clips and four brief behind-the-scenes videos from the film have emerged, pulling viewers deeper into the world of “The Congress.” The clips focus on Wright’s character’s technophobia, while the behind-the-scenes videos inexplicably splice together animatics, finished animation and recording sessions. If you can’t wait for the film’s August 29 theatrical release date, you’re in luck: The Congress is currently available on iTunes and VOD.