Alegría – A Spark of Light (François Blouin, Félix Lajeunesse, Paul Raphaël, 2020)

Vai bambino vai vedrai

I believe in fate, except for when I write. After some reflection, I would say that virtual reality is actually closer to oneiric reality for several reasons. It unleashes a feeling of utopian reality which both amazes us, and makes us somewhat depressed when one has to face true reality again.

Today, I am introducing to you a second short film from the series of virtual reality films proposed by the Phi Centre with the event entitled PHI VR TO GO, which was specifically created to prevent us from going crazy during the sanitary crisis. So for a couple of days, and for a relatively reasonable price, I was able to enjoy in the comfort of my home a selection of ten virtual reality short films, impressive as I had never seen before! This one entitled Alegría – A Spark of Light, and directed by François Blouin, Félix Lajeunesse, and Paul Raphaël in 2020, is another work of art from the Felix & Paul Studios, which takes inspiration from the Cirque du Soleil’s show of the same name to adapt it into this new technology.

To view the trailer, I invite you to set up the image quality at 1440s60, and to then explore the image as you would explore a map so you can enjoy this experience in a way that is the closest possible to the actual virtual reality experience. Setting up the quality at the highest level might make the image crash, but you are free to try.

A re-imagining of one of Cirque du Soleil’s most iconic productions, 
Alegría - A Spark of Light. In a world slowly freezing into silence and stillness, the 
inhabitants of a once effervescent world are becoming paralyzed by the dark. Join them as they embark on an energizing journey that rekindles hope.
Synopsis of the film taken from the website of the Phi Centre 

In these times when going to watch a circus show is unthinkable, I have actually found innovative the idea from the studio to produce a part of this show into a new form! It is not only just a part of the show, but an actual dramatic construction, not too short, and not too long, with a powerful message to which several numbers from the show are added. The dialogues, absent from the film, are obviously useless for this kind of artworks, since we experience emotions from all the other possible artistic elements, and especially thanks to that sad clown character we meet inside that dark space, and who finds light again at the end of the film after some exceptional numbers! The costumes are magnificent, and the acting is even present in this clown who takes us in his world during fourteen minutes that do pass by in the blink of an eye! The use of virtual reality technology is absolutely gorgeous here, and I would say almost perfect, for as a spectator, we are active, but not harassed by visual informations, so we don’t experience nausea, as it sometimes happens with this type of technology. There is a huge work effort on perspectives and superimpositions here, and an impressive use of peripheral space, to which extracts from the Italian musical soundtrack of the show are delightfully added! At the end of the film, we are experiencing emotions of joy and passion before this combination of various arts, and especially of arts of the stage and visual arts. This film is my absolute favorite from the series, and deserves five stars!


Head image: VRFocus