Richard and Robert Sherman Documentary Caps a Fantastic Week
written by Johannes Wolters
A wonderful surprise waited for me Saturday morning, when I went seeing the boys. Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman had been with me through my entire life. I listened to their songs, from Winnie the Pooh and Jungle Book, from Mary Poppins through to Aristocats. All I knew about the artists, that they were brothers, had written unbelievable amounts of music and lyrics, had a close relationship to Walt Disney and that they had also composed the music for “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” which is no Disney movie! Little did I know that there is so much more.
The documentary “The Boys” (http://www.theboysdoc.com/) written and directed by their sons, Gregory V. Sherman and Jeffrey Sherman, tells the biographies of two brothers, who had a difficult, painful relationship. While Robert wanted to be the great American novelist, Richard dreamt about writing big symphonies. Only together they managed to have success, but not only success, they became the greatest songwriter-team ever. The directors, who as kids weren´t allowed to speak to a one another, actually wanted to persuade the Disney studio to do a biopic about those two legends and did some interviews-material to convince the investors. After the pitch the studio didn´t like the idea for the feature but they immediately green lighted the documentary which now includes interviews with Randy Newman, John Williams, Julie Andrews, Ben Stiller, Angela Lansbury, Dick van Dyke, Alan Menken and many, many others. John Landis statement alone about “It’s a small world after all” is watching the film.
This is not your average feel-good documentary, this is a really interesting insight behind well build facades. Landis and Ben Stiller supported the filmmakers in many ways, Stiller worked also as executive producer on this production. After the screening the two filmmakers answered patiently the many questions of the audience. Their goal at the beginning was to balance the film so that none of the brothers can be seen as the bad guy, so it was not an easy process to build the story, because of course both sons took the point of view of there actual dads.
So in the last hours of the festival there is time to relax a bit, you have time to meet friends, you go to Nik and Nancy´s picnic with the obligatory boat race with animators around the little island in the lake of Annecy.
But in the end of the day there lies the Closing Ceremony, in which all the Cristals will be handed out by the Jury, after that those who were lucky enough to get a invitation will gather for that last party at the end of the festival. So there time for some numbers, which I will quote from the official press release of the festival:
- 1,855 films were submitted this year. 192 films coming from 40 countries, as far afield as Burkina Faso, Columbia, the Philippines or Mozambique, were presented in competition.
- Some 120,000 tickets were sold, 6,700 industry professionals were accredited from 67 countries, including 230 buyers and 300 journalists who covered the events.
- The Market welcomed 1,900 delegates, 350 companies showed off their work and products in a 10 % larger show space, proving that there doesn’t seem to be too much of a slump in the animation market.
- Networking went on for 3 days and the French television channels announced their future plans for the autumn in their press conferences.
- Of course you could feel some of the financial crisis already, because everybody stated that there were not as many people attending as in the last years.
- Germany was the guest country this year, with 8 programmes of films, two exhibitions and a large delegation.
- Once again studios like Disney/Pixar and Sony, were here seeking out new talents and presenting their future projects. The Work in Progress sessions confirmed their importance, along with the conferences that all attracted a large crowd of interested listeners (see press release 11/06).
- The exhibitions focusing on the work of Alexander Shiryaev and Walerian Borowczyk at the Musée-Château were also particularly well attended.
- The week was full of great moments, with the sneak preview of A Town Called Panic as opening film, visits from Patrice Leconte, who presented his first animation film project, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, who was given carte blanche to show off his favourite films.
- Don’t miss Annecy 2010, from 7 to 12 June, when the Festival will be celebrating its 50th anniversary!
That´s it. I am going to sleep now for a whole week!