Circles of Life

Circles of Life

2 Episodes

A rotating cast of characters traverse from one vignette to the next in a brilliant and unsettling stop-motion marvel and an enchanting romantic roundelay. Set during the nineteenth-century colonial occupation of Congo, Emma De Swaef and Marc James Roels’s acclaimed animated short THIS MAGNIFICENT CAKE! tells the stories of five characters—ranging from a disturbed king to a Pygmy employee in a luxury hotel—in a surreal, darkly comic, and brutal interrogation of imperialism. Its multi-chapter narrative structure was inspired by LA RONDE, Max Ophuls’s elegantly acerbic adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler’s controversial play REIGEN, in which a group of soldiers, chambermaids, poets, prostitutes, and aristocrats pass through one another’s lives in a merry-go-round of love and infidelity.

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Circles of Life
  • This Magnificent Cake!

    Episode 1

    Directed by Marc James Roels and Emma De Swaef • 2018 • Beglium, France
    Starring Jan Decleir, Bruno Levie, Paul Huvenne

    In the late nineteenth century, keen to compete with other European imperial powers on the continent, King Leopold II of Belgium proclaimed, “I do not want to miss a good chanc...

  • La ronde

    Episode 2

    Directed by Max Ophuls • 1950 • France
    Starring Simone Signoret, Anton Walbrook, Simone Simon

    Simone Signoret, Anton Walbrook, and Simone Simon lead a roundelay of French stars in Max Ophuls’s delightful, acerbic adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler’s controversial turn-of-the-century play “Reigen.” ...