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Writing about an Irish movie last week was fun (Ondine), especially because I got to show off my particular knowledge of Irish folklore and culture, so this week I’m going to show you another great Irish movie from 2009, this time the animated feature The Secret of Kells. The film is set in Ireland some time around the eighth century, and tells a heavily fictionalized account of the completion of the Book of Kells, an illustrated book of the four gospels which is widely considered Ireland’s first and greatest national treasure. Our protagonist, Brendan, is a young boy living in the Abbey of Kells, which was established by his uncle Abbot Kellach as a refuge from Viking raids (Ireland had a nasty Viking problem back then).
The influences are clear to see, there are shades of works like Samurai Jack and The Thief and the Cobbler, which have been confirmed by the filmmakers. He sees Brendan’s new found sense of adventure and curiosity about the outside world, and wants to repress it, fearing that it will lead to his end.
If the film has any villains it would be the pagan deity Cromm Cruach (more on him later) and the vikings, though they come across as some kind of demonic automatons, operating without any real agency or character. Brendan himself is an excellent child protagonist, exuberant and youthful without being annoying (or having what I like to call “Jake Lloyd syndrome”). Now, remember last week when I was talking about tension between Christian ideologies and older pagan beliefs? Essentially before Christianity was thing in Ireland, the most prominent pagan idol was Cromm Cruach. That aside, The Secret of Kells is a fantastic movie, well deserving of its Oscar nomination for best animated film in ’09.
Register so you can check out ratings by your friends, family members, and like-minded members of the FA community of users. Recit initiatique issu de la culture populaire irlandaise, "Brendan et le secret de Kells" est sorti sur les ecrans en fevrier 2009 et n'a realise que 160 000 entrees en salles. But everything changes when the monk Brother Aiden of Iona arrives at Kells, bringing with him the uncompleted book.


The colors are rich and varied, the movement is smooth and dynamic and several sequences in particular are unlike anything you’re likely to see in Western or even Japanese animation. But while you can see the influences, the film still feels refreshingly original in its style and execution.
He wants to help Brother Aiden complete the book, and forms a realistic and interesting relationship with the monk, who fosters his energy and creativity in a way his uncle never did.
She has a fair amount of screen time, but for some reason I never totally got sense of her character. This movie has that in droves, I mean hell it’s set when that struggle was still going on. In order to complete the book, Brendan must recover an artifact called the Eye of Collum-Cille, a crystalline lens that can only be taken from one place: the eye of Cromm Cruach.
The eye of a pagan idol is a vital tool for completing an incredibly important Christian text. We get a really beautiful animation sequence to play us out, but I wouldn’t mind a more in-depth denouement to give us more closure on the characters.
If you want to see some fantastic animation and a more than decent story, you can do far worse.
When not studying film at Concordia's Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema or serving customers at Avenue Video, one of the island's best and last video stores, Thomas can usually be found watching anything from Hong Kong action flicks, superhero blockbusters, indie horror and even occasionally something that doesn't involve monsters, explosions or people in spandex. But a new life of adventure beckons when a celebrated master illuminator arrives from the isle of Iona carrying an ancient but unfinished book, brimming with secret wisdom and powers. Together with Aiden and a fairy girl named Aisling, Brendan vows to complete the book, which Aiden promises will bring light and illumination to these dark times.
But then again, fairies are supposed to be mysterious and indecipherable so I suppose it’s fitting.


Brendan quickly makes friends with Aisling (pronounced Ashlynn), a fairy who lives in the woods outside Kells. Patrick showed up and destroyed all the Pagan idols and said it was Christianity or bust for the Irish. To help complete the magical book, Brendan has to overcome his deepest fears on a dangerous quest that takes him into the enchanted forest where mythical creatures hide. Qu'importe pour tous ceux qui ont travaille sur ce beau projet, cette nomination aux Oscars est une vraie reconnaissance.
Christen Mooney does a great job voicing her as well, especially when she performs “Aisling’s Song” a brief but haunting melody that will stick in your head for weeks. His friendship with her further underscores the rapidly increasing gulf between Brendan and his pious uncle.
Cromm Cruach is a figure of menace and darkness in the film, but also one who is vital to creating a future of understanding and knowledge, which the creation of the book is said to represent. It is here that he meets the fairy Aisling, a mysterious young wolf-girl, who helps him along the way.
But with the barbarians closing in, will Brendan's determination and artistic vision illuminate the darkness and show that enlightenment is the best fortification against evil? Dans sa categorie, il cotoie en effet des super-productions americaines qui ont coute entre 150 et 200 millions d'euros ! Parmi elles, le dernier succes des studios Pixar "La-haut" et le dernier Disney "La princesse et la grenouille".



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