Actress Robin Wright (Robin Wright playing a
version of herself) is getting less roles when the President (Danny Huston) of
Miramount Pictures (basically a fictional studio combing Miramax and Paramount)
offers her one last contract to scan her and her emotions so they can create
endless pictures with Robin Wright on the condition she never acts again for
the next 20 years. She makes a tough
decision to sign the contract with the help of her agent (Harvey Kietel) and
spends the next 20 years taking care of her fictionalized son who is going
blind. She decides to visit Miramount
about 20 years later where she enters an animation restriction zone to visit
the Futurological Congress and everyone basically turns animated looking as THE
CONGRESS takes on a surreal animation experience.
THE CONGRESS is a very loose adaptation of THE
CONGRESS by great Polish sci-fi author Stanislaw Lem. Director Ari Folman believes
he kept the
spirit of the book, but fans of the book expecting an adaptation of the novel
will be very disappointed. The director
takes elements from the book and applies it to the experiences of the fictional
Robin Wright who is at a hotel where a attack is mounted and everyone is
experiencing things through drugs which cause hallucinations. The animation
is in the style of 1920s and
1930s animation (just for an R rated audience) with some of the backgrounds
inspired by medieval painters. I love
the book, but I also love the movie for it’s imagery and the commentary on how Hollywood
treats actors (and whether they will be replaceable like a thing or a quantity
to be duplicated).
The audio commentary by writer/ director Ari
Folman and another
participant talks about how Ari learned about people scanning during
pre-productions, difficulties with actor Harvey Kietel (who sometime would only
do one take or say nothing during one scene), the animation, and problems with
Robin Wright’s make-up in the desert (that they had to use CGI
to age her).
Also on the disc are an interview with Robin
the movie and how she came to be involved, a 30 second promo spot, and trailers
for THE CONGRESS, BORGMAN, MOOD INDIGO, THE VISITOR, and WRONG. I wish
they had included a featurette on the
In addition to that there is a code for a digital
the film and a 16 page booklet.
purists will be disappointed by this adaptation of Lem’s novel, but THE
CONGRESS is destined to be a cult film.
The animation sequences are the best part along with the social
commentary on star power in Hollywood.
This review is ©12-4-2014
David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments
Like Enterline Media on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/enterlinemediaweb
and follow on tumblr at http://enterlinemedia.tumblr.com