December 2, 2008

Written by Cal Kemp

Israeli director Ari Folman’s new animated documentary “Waltz with Bashir” is slated to hit theaters on Christmas Day and I got a chance to sit down and speak with him earlier today at the press conference. The full video will be up soon, but I did get a brief question about his upcoming adaptation of Stanislaw Lem’s “The Futurological Congress”.

The novel, written in 1971 by the Russian sci-fi master behind “Solaris”, is dark comedy about a dystopian future that pretends to be a utopia by drugging its citizens. It’s both extremely smart and very, very funny and having an auteur like Folman at the helm makes the adaptation something I’ll be earnestly keeping an eye on in the months to come. (Full disclosure, I wasn’t that fond of “Bashir” but have a lot of respect for what Folman was going for all the same.)

Basically, Folman implied that “Congress” is in the very early stages but said that, like “Bashir”, it would utilize animation and that the lead voice would be an American actress (with the production being done in English). I tried to find out which actress, exactly, but he said that she still wasn’t cast. He just knows what he’s after.

Check back soon for the full video, including Folman’s thoughts on the role of animation in the world today and a discussion of the balance between verite narratives and fictionalized versions of true stories.

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