The Congress: DVD Review
Released by Madman Home Ent
Sci-fi and satire are the order of the day of The Congress, from the director of Waltz with Bashir, Ari Folman.
Starring Robin Wright, and inspired by Stanislaw Lem's novel The Futurlogical Congress, it's the story of the actress Robin Wright, considered washed up by the Miramount studio. Unable to secure work for years, due to demands and concerns over looking after her son, Robin's offered one last contract by the studios to hand over her digital image so they can do what they want with her.
The only condition is she can never act again...
The Congress is a surrealist piece of cinema, that dances the line between head-scratching and reality with ease. But in among the animated weirdness, there's also a satire that hits at Hollywood and current pre-occupations with digital rights and intellectual property. Half animated, the film waltzes a line between Yellow Submarine with some truly gorgeous animation that is psychedelic and intoxicating to look at, as it mixes the line between sending up characters you know from Hollywood via classic WB animation with a dash of Ren and Stimpy. It's the visual style which soars here initially before you immediately become accustomed to it.
And once you do, you realise that The Congress is quite a sad piece and potentially a warning to Hollywood over where it's going - there's no way that Folman's not constructed a piece which fires a shot over their bows telling them that the extremes they've painted in this picture could signal an interesting debate somewhere down the line. Pre-occupations with Hollywood fads, women in movies, ownership of properties - it's all up here for the discussion. There's a lot to debate and think on after this film - and that's no bad thing.