Tag Archives: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Invisible Essence: The Little Prince Continues to Inspire with Further Screenings

10 Apr

Image result for invisible Essence: The Little Prince netflixBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Existentialism is a big word. But for 76 years, for a readership barely old enough to read, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince has conveyed the importance of asking who we are, what connects us to others, and how we should live. I saw this work not too long ago, during the 2019 Victoria Film Festival, and quite enjoyed it (see review here) and it continues to inspire, getting a theatrical screening in Vancouver, BC, on April 19th.

Charles Officer’s acclaimed documentary Invisible Essence: The Little Prince looks beyond what the story of a stranded aviator who encounters an elegant alien child in the Sahara means. This documentary explores the global legacy of The Little Prince 75 years after its publication. It weaves the author Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s extraordinary biography with fascinating discussions from key sections of the book, exploring the many ways life and art can reflect upon one another in curious ways. And in telling the author’s own story of a child who suffered the loss of a father and beloved brother, and who found “himself” as an aviator for the French air-mail company Aeropostale, flying alone over no man’s lands.

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All those ‘Invisible Essences’ which defines The Little Prince

5 Feb

Image result for invisible Essence: The Little Prince netflixBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Also available on Netflix and Discovery Channel Canada

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry‘s most recognized work is a timeless tale and to learn about the man and meaning of this tale is nicely explored in the documentary simply titled Invisible Essence: The Little Prince. This work can be found to view online, but for me, I had to see it during the 2019 Victoria Film Festival, to enjoy seeing the artwork come to life on the big screen. With the dream-like watercolour images splashed on that canvas and ink dots denoting a lost innocence, I was captivated by the details of not only the illustrations but also in how this author would come to write this seminal tale.

Not only does this film explores new reactions to this story but also it gets anecdotal by those who knew this creator’s life. The balancing of these two narratives made for a lengthy examination and the payoff, in the end, is simply in understanding both the author and his story more.

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The Little Prince, A Tiny Review

18 Mar

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By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Two stories are woven together in director Mark Osborne‘s modern movie adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry‘s The Little Prince. One serves to act as a launching off point to the 1942 tale of a pilot meeting a mysterious boy from an asteroid. As one story is visually and eloquently rendered in smooth CGI, the other has an archaic papier-mâché, stop motion, quality which works very well in contrast to the two worlds being presented.

In the main story, a girl (voiced by Mackenzie Foy) is on summer break and her mother (Rachel McAdams) has a regimen for her daughter to follow to pass the entrance exam to the prestigious Werth Academy in France. Although this adult is only worried about her child’s future, very little about the present is worth considering, including knowing how to take pleasure in the moment to enjoy life. When mom leaves for work, this young girl’s natural curiousity of the elderly neighbour (Jeff Bridges at his finest) almost follows in the tradition set by PIXAR‘s Up. This old codger was once an air force pilot and he takes an immediate liking to the young lass. He regales her with stories from his younger life, where Saint-Exupéry’s timeless story enters the picture.

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