Just some sketches of younger and older Jack. I hope to get something worth coloring drawn soon.
I found the film “Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart” at my local Redbox. I saw the cover and decided to give it a try. I’m pretty game for anything and foreign films seem to catch my eye.
I wasn’t expecting this movie to find a place in my heart and permanently move in. But I couldn’t help but fall for the entire film. Let me just say that Mathias Malzieu wrote an amazing book that inspired this film. It may be an animated film but it is anything but a child’s movie. Think of fusing “Hugo” and Tim Burton and you’ll get close to the style of this film. It’s visually stunning with surrealism used in specific scenes to intensify the action. There aren’t many action scenes so artistic vision substitutes very nicely. I would have liked to see some more action because I typically go for stuff like “Lethal Weapon”. I admit I don’t go in for love stories very often and this one had me hanging onto every word. The plot revolves around the titular character Jack. We see his pregnant mother journeying through a day cold enough to freeze her tears as they come out in 1874. This is ‘the coldest day on Earth’ as the characters call it. His mother makes it to the home of a midwife rumored to be insane. Because of this intense cold Jack is born with a heart frozen to ice. The midwife Madeleine hurries to save Jack by replacing his defunct heart with a cuckoo clock of all things. But a clock heart comes with special rules. Never touch the hands of your heart, keep control of your temper, and most importantly never ever fall in love. The mechanism of the clock can’t withstand the complexities of love. Jack’s mother abandons him and Madeleine raises him as her son. We then jump ten years, Jack now a boy is eager to see Edinburgh for the very first time. Madeleine has kept him in her home outside of town to protect him from the danger of strong emotions and from the judging eyes of others. Before leaving Madeleine reminds Jack of the three rules. He promises he can’t possibly fall in love. They head into town where the sound of a barrel organ catches his ear. “It works much the same as your heart. It’s mechanical with lots of emotions.” Madeleine tells him. Jack ventures away from her to find the source and meets a girl his age singing. For some reason he can’t help but sing with her. They form a duet singing about a rather mature relationship. Jack has fallen in love. As Madeleine warned him his heart begins to overwork itself trying to keep up with all the emotion. His heart overheats and he collapses. Madeleine rescues him and tries to cement the third rule into his head. Jack finds out that the girl he met was wearing a uniform from a school. In search of his ‘little singer’ he begs Madeleine to enroll him in school. She acquiesces reluctantly worrying about him. But there is no singer in school, only a big bully named Joe who also loves Miss Acacia. This makes him a target for Joe who says Acacia is gone. Joe discovers the secret to Jack’s heart and this becomes his favorite way to torment Jack. Years pass and the two boys get into a nasty fight. It ends with Jack’s cuckoo taking Joe’s right eye out. Jack runs home and Madeleine sends him to leave town so he’ll be safe. Before leaving Jack pauses and unable to speak he hugs Madeleine tightly, it’s the only mother - son moment they really share. Now alone he takes a train ride with Jack the Ripper (here we get one of those unique artistic sequences). He is saved by a Frenchman with a camera. It’s none other than Georges Melies the film maker. Needing a repair for his heart Jack asks for help. Georges agrees to help him and they head off to Paris. There Jack relays his tale of the singing girl and his love for her. Despite the warning about love Georges advises Jack to act on his emotions and find Acacia. Off they go to Granada. And find her in a carnival. Here Jack meets her and due to her poor eyesight she doesn’t recognize him. Though she does hum the duet they sang together. They talk and Jack takes a job at the carnival to stay nearby. He shows her his heart but she thinks it’s a gimmick, a sort of game. Acacia likes him but she claims to be in love with someone already. Someone from Edinburgh. Jack mistakes it for Joe. Thinking that once again Joe has ruined his life he despairs but with Georges advice seeks to hear her story. She admits loving him, now Jack has to tell her the truth, and make her believe in his mechanical heart. But when Joe shows up trouble brews. Once again the two fight and Joe tells Acacia about the three rules. Afraid of killing Jack Acacia tells him to leave her alone. Now heartbroken Jack must face the torment of his emotions. Will his heart survive or will it do as Madeleine predicted? Excellent film. I bought it already. The movie is a beautiful love story with quirky characters and lots of artistic fun. I liked the more adult feel of certain characters and there is no denying it is French. One of my favorite scenes is the train ride when he leaves Edinburgh. Great fun of placing music and imagery together. The music is another facet all in its own. The concept album by Dionysos is brilliant. One of my favorite songs is only the instrumental in the film and for good reason. But just listen to La Berceuse Hip Hop Du Docteur Madeleine and you’ll probably understand. Absolutely perfect music that catches the emotions of the story. Hamac of Clouds will have you crying if you let it. Overall I give it five stars. Foreign films are so hard to connect with sometimes. And I would suggest older children. Some of the content is definitely for more mature minds. The film is full of quirks. A clock for a heart, a carnival of real freaks, and a girl who grows thorns when she feels vulnerable. It has a nice steampunk touch to it that carries to the end. The vehicles like the carriages and trains are typical of the steampunk style. I would suggest you check Redbox or Amazon prime for this film because I highly recommend it.
Reblog this if you pronounce “.gif” as “JIF.”
WE SHALL SEE WHICH ONE PREVAILS.
Courtesy of my local Barnes and Noble!
Red boxed it last night and decided I really wanted to own it. I walked in and the employee asked me if I was looking for something do I told her and apparently in my city this film is popular because she had the same question asked before me and when she looked it up she had 3 orders for it as well. This one goes on my shelf of favorites.