Kaena: The Prophecy
Photos and Video
In a post-apocalyptic universe where worms talk, gods are monsters, and "below is above and above is below," nothing is as it seems. Caught in the middle of this intergalactic muddle is the crumbling tree world of Axis, whose desperate inhabitants are convinced that by prayer and sacrifice they will find reward. Each day, the villagers set out to collect an ever-diminishing supply of tree sap to present to their unseen gods, while Kaena (voice of Kirsten Dunst), the film's intrepid heroine, spends her time climbing from tree to tree, contemplating Axis' shadowy past and uncertain future. After she is ostracized for challenging her people's unquestioning faith, Kaena embarks on an action-packed interplanetary mission of exploration. In her search for truth and understanding, she makes many new friends and enemies, such as the ominous Queen of the Selenites (voice of Anjelica Huston) and the sage Opaz (voice of Richard Harris, in his final film credit). Kaena: The Prophecy is a wild and memorable adventure, complete with allegorical commentary on religion, politics, and the human spirit. An impressive directorial debut from former graffiti artist Chris Delaporte, Kaena finds its inspiration in a number of science fiction films, anime, and video game artwork. The first 3D CGI picture to emerge from France, Kaena: The Prophecy represents a milestone in the history of French cinema.
Director's Statement Collapse
Has film work always been the objective on your career horizon?
I started out doing graffiti--illegal artwork on the walls of Paris--which led me to painting, and then, when I bought myself a computer, I started working on 3D. Right away, early on, I knew that was great a way of telling stories. At the time, I'd heard about Starwatcher (a 3D feature project, which was to be made by Jean Giraud, alias "Moebius") For me, it was like a dream. So, in fact, I began work on video games by chance. It was the only context that let me express myself in the world I liked: fantasy. I was playing around, perhaps, but I really wanted to make a movie. At first, Patrick and I worked on a game demo at home for a year, without being paid. I mainly worked on the story and the world it took place in, and Patrick developed the game system. That's when we met Denis Friedman, who at the time was General Director for Sony Computer France. When he left Sony, he set up his own company, Chaman. Like us, Denis believed in complementary media interaction; video games, feature films, comic albums... Starting out with the rights to an original story, then using it over a wide range of media. We had a game demo, but Denis asked us to come up with a 2-minute 3D intro, which he used to raise interest in the project. So Denis worked out an overall budget, which today seems almost laughable, because it added up to 18 million Francs. For what eventually came to 96 million Francs!
How did the crew come together?
In a very complex way. It was impossible to bring together a group of 3D feature film experts, because no one in France had that kind of experience. Virginie Guilminot, who took on the job as assistant director, helped me assemble a heterogeneous crew. We went for talent and motivation more than people's experience. The hard core was made up of artists with a video game background, chosen for their varied skills, and their readiness to respond to the craziest challenges. Then, another group joined composed of computer graphics designers fresh out of art school, along with experienced professionals from the audiovisual business. It took a while for us all to use the same language, and for me to learn to make myself understood by everyone. But the passion we all felt for this project smoothed over whatever differences we had, and the movie was enriched by each person's experience.
Film Information Collapse
[KAENA] | 2003 | 91 | Narrative Feature
Foreign Title: (Kaena: La Prophétie)
Premiere: North American
About the Director(s)Collapse
Chris Delaporte is a painter. A great fan of H.R. Giger, Otomo, and Miyazaki, he is a former student of the University d'Arts Plastiques in Paris and his works have been exhibited regularly. Delaporte became immersed in the video game production industry, a perfect blending of art and information technology. It was while he was working on the graphic design of Heart of Darkness, now a reference in the world of video games, that he met Patrick Daher. In 1995, he and Daher launched into creating the design of and coscripting the world of Kaena, his directorial debut.