I saw two films last night, and one of them was The District. The description on the film festival site was surprisingly accurate. What an exciting, energetic film. It was kind of a mash-up of City of God, The Cosby Kids, and a Ralph Bakshi film. With some fun music mixed in.
The animation style itself was very strange. It was pretty stiff and the characters had a very limited range of motion, but it worked quite well. Not for the Otaku who is obsessed with frame count and fluidity, but very suited to the film. The characters were drawn pretty detailed and then animated like cardboard cutouts almost. Very much like a Bakshi film - and also chock full of sexual content like one.
The adult oriented stuff was pretty heavy at first, until the children were introduced, then it got very whimsical. It was extremely fast paced, and where a different film may have lingered on a particular story element, this film left no time for such nonsense. I couldn't help but get mesmerized by the energy and pace.
The only real complaint I had was the subtitles. Given that the film was a kind of bright pastel color generally, the subtitles often were virtually unreadable in many scenes because they were white. At times the subtitles were darkened a bit, at other times not. It almost felt like a TV calibration test.
For this reason one of the more hilarious jokes in the film did not come off well. We were supposed to be emitting quite the guffaw when seeing Bucharest instead of Budapest, but it was impossible to read and as such we scratched our heads until a bit later on, at which point the joke was too late to be appreciated.
That aside, I really enjoyed this. Kudos to the film festival for reserving late nights for edgy films.