The only documentary I saw at the 2004 Melbourne International Film Festival (Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster was well and truly sold out), Tintin and I is a very interesting insight into the mind of Georges Remi (aka Hergé), most of it told from his own viewpoint.
I’m not sure why the tapes from the exceedingly candid interview Østergaard did in 1971 have only now been presented to us in this form, but they are certainly fascinating glimpses into Hergé’s life and times. Østergaard’s style can at times be a bit narcissistic, and we see a little too much of him for my liking. I also felt that he spoke a bit too familiarly of Tintin’s creator, as if he’d known him all his life, rather than simply being in discussion with the man for several days.
Not to downplay the significance of these recordings, however. It is incredible that Hergé revealed what he did in them.
Excusing the historical artefacts, the documentary itself revealed very little new information to a long time fan of Hergé’s work such as myself. I was familiar with a lot of the history and thus was a little bored at times.
The examination of Hergé’s reunion with Chang, however, was insightful. I’d only ever seen the outsider’s view of the story. In Tintin and I we get to see how much of a media-induced money-making stunt the whole occasion was. The documentary takes a decidedly downbeat tone at this point.
Tintin and I is at its best when Hergé is doing the talking. It’s of more interest to those that don’t know much about the story behind Tintin’s creator.Rating: