So Haunting, so beautiful, so beautifully produced is Spike Jonze’s new short film with Olympia Le-Tan.
Designer Olympia Le-Tan’s embroidered clutch-bags spring to life in director Spike Jonzeâ€™s tragicomic stop-motion animation Mourir AuprÃ¨s de Toi (To Die By Your Side). On a shelf in famed Parisian bookstore Shakespeare and Company, the star-crossed love story of a klutzy skeleton and his flame-haired amour plays out amidst Le-Tanâ€™s illustrations of iconic first-edition book covers. “It’s such a beautiful and romantic place,â€� offers Le-Tan of the antiquarian bookstore. “The perfect setting for our story!â€� The project started after Jonze asked for a Catcher in the Rye embroidery to put on his wall and the plucky Le-Tan asked for a film in return. Enlisting French filmmaker Simon Cahn to co-direct, the team wrote the script between Los Angeles and Paris over a six month period, before working night and day animating the 3,000 pieces of felt Le-Tan had cut by hand. â€œI love getting performances from, telling stories about and humanizing things that arenâ€™t human,â€� said Jonze of working with Le-Tanâ€™s characters. After spending five years adapting Maurice Sendakâ€™s Where The Wild Things Are, Jonzeâ€™s recent shorts include robot love story Iâ€™m Here and an inspired G.I. Joe-starring video for The Beastie Boys. â€œA short is like a sketch,â€� he says. â€œYou can have an idea or a feeling and just go and do it.â€� Here the iconic director reveals his creative process to writer Maryam L’Ange.