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Designer Olympia Le-Tan’s embroidered clutch-bags spring to life in director Spike Jonze?s tragicomic stop-motion animation Mourir Aupr?s de Toi (To Die By Your Side).

On a shelf in famed Parisian bookstore Shakespeare and Company, the star-crossed love story of a klutzy skeleton and his flame-haired amour plays out amidst Le-Tan?s illustrations of iconic first-edition book covers. “It’s such a beautiful and romantic place,? offers Le-Tan of the antiquarian bookstore. “The perfect setting for our story!?

The project started after Jonze asked for a Catcher in the Rye embroidery to put on his wall and the plucky Le-Tan asked for a film in return. Enlisting French filmmaker Simon Cahn to co-direct, the team wrote the script between Los Angeles and Paris over a six month period, before working night and day animating the 3,000 pieces of felt Le-Tan had cut by hand. ?I love getting performances from, telling stories about and humanizing things that aren?t human,? said Jonze of working with Le-Tan?s characters.

After spending five years adapting Maurice Sendak?s Where The Wild Things Are, Jonze?s recent shorts include robot love story I?m Here and an inspired G.I. Joe-starring video for The Beastie Boys. ?A short is like a sketch,? he says. ?You can have an idea or a feeling and just go and do it.? Here the iconic director reveals his creative process to writer Maryam L’Ange.

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