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Author: Jill Kimball

Jazzy, Parisian ‘Triplets of Belleville’ cine-concert comes to Boulder

The Artist Series presents the quirky film with live music in Macky.

Charlie Chaplin meets Tim Burton. The Marquis de Sade meets Lance Armstrong.

Somehow, it’s impossible to describe “The Triplets of Belleville” with references or comparisons. It’s something you just have to see for yourself.

Boulderites who love quirk, camp and cinema have the chance to check out the unique spectacle of “Triplets” on the big screen at Macky Auditorium on Sunday, Oct. 15, part of the Artist Series at CU Presents. Best of all, they’ll get to hear the movie’s swinging score performed live by Le Terrible Orchestre de Belleville.

“There is not even a way I can tell you what [‘The Triplets of Belleville’] is ‘like,’ because I can’t think of another film ‘like’ it,” wrote the famous film critic Roger Ebert in 2003. “To call it weird would be a cowardly evasion. It is creepy, eccentric, eerie, flaky, freaky, funky, grotesque, inscrutable, kinky, kooky, magical, oddball, spooky, uncanny, uncouth and unearthly.

“None of [these words] do the trick, either,” he admitted. “I am completely failing to do justice to this film.”

What sort of movie leaves the world’s most famous film critic bewitched and at a loss for words? The sort that’s animated yet edgy enough to gain a cult following at the Cannes Film Festival. The sort whose haunting style contrasts perfectly with a soundtrack of upbeat, irresistible jazz. The sort that’s about French style, cycling, family relationships and urban life, all at the same time.

The story of “Triplets” takes place in Belleville, a fictional European capital resembling Paris. An old woman buys her young grandson a bike, and years later, he becomes the world’s fastest cyclist. When he’s suddenly kidnapped by a gambling ring, his grandmother takes to the streets with her trusty dog and a trio of singers to track him down.

The New York Times calls it a “tour de force of ink-washed, crosshatched mischief, and unlikely sublimity.” The Age calls it “a gloriously oddball animation, adorned with superb songs that glitter like lights on the Seine and clatter like old cars on cobblestones.”

But at its heart, “Triplets” isn’t a string of adjectives. It’s a feeling you can’t quite articulate … unless you’re Roger Ebert.

“’The Triplets of Belleville’ will have you walking out of the theater with a goofy damn grin on your face, wondering what just happened to you.”

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