A Town Called Panic (image 1)

So this is what deadpan slapstick surrealist Belgian stop-motion animation looks like. I like it!

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

Screened as part of NZIFF 2010

A Town Called Panic 2009

Panique au village

Directed by Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar

Based on a cult Belgian TV series that centres around three plastic toys named Cowboy, Indian and Horse, this anarchic, crudely animated stop-motion flight of surreal lunacy is the nuttiest film in our programme.

Belgium / France / Luxembourg In French with English subtitles
75 minutes CinemaScope

Producers

Philippe Kaufmann
,
Vincent Tavier

Screenplay

Stéphane Aubier
,
Guillaume Malandrin
,
Vincent Patar
,
Vincent Tavier

Photography

Jan Vandenbussche

Editor

Anne-Laure Guégan

Animators

Stéphane Aubier
,
Marion Charrier
,
Zoé Goetgheluck
,
Florence Henrard
,
Vincent Patar

Music

Dionysos
,
French Cowboy

Voices

Stéphane Aubier (Cowboy)
,
Jeanne Balibar (Mrs Longray)
,
Véronique Dumont (Janine)
,
Bruce Ellison (Indian)
,
Frédéric Jannin (Policeman)
,
Bouli Lanners (Postman)
,
Vincent Patar (Horse)
,
Benoît Poelvoorde (Steven)

Festivals

Cannes (Out of Competition), Karlovy Vary, Toronto 2009

Elsewhere

Based on a cult Belgian TV series that centres around three kids’ toys, this crudely animated stop-motion flight of surreal lunacy was expanded to feature length and went on to win over Cannes and critics worldwide. Without a doubt the nuttiest film in the Incredibly Strange section, the weirdness centres on three figurines named Cowboy, Indian and Horse who all share a house in a rural town that is plagued by strange occurrences. A decision to surprise Horse with a barbeque sets off a deranged series of events as the plastique-fantastique trio embark on a journey of unparalleled oddness involving: a giant snowball-throwing penguin robot; horse love; parachuting cows; and an underwater universe of pointy-headed miscreants. The incredible inventiveness of creators Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar keeps you transfixed throughout its brief running time. Well, that and a big fat doobie beforehand probably wouldn’t hurt either. — AT