After reading this title, I believe a short Introduction is an well growing up in the 90s I was rudely introduced to stop motion and bizarre animated shorts through the Channel animation on 4. Obviously as a child and young teenager I’ve seen lots of animated films series and feature length films, but nothing could quite prepare me for the onslaught of dark mechanical don’t like creatures from the insipid creative minds of the Quay brothers Paul Berry’s and the claustrophobic social construct of Phil Mulloy.
While it frightened and unnerved me it did also, open my eyes to unlimited dreamscapes and nightmares!? I would sit up late at night transfixed to the mirage of movement and curious situations which eventually started to warp my art, thinking, and most facets of my life. I suppose it was truly influential, but it’s take me this long to get back into that niech groove and present my all time favourite classic animations, mostly from Animation on 4, stop motion shorts and everything else that fits in between.
Continue reading Classic animation (on 4) stop motion and WTF shorts Vol.1
Director: James Wong.
Starring: Chow Yun-Fat and some other people including Justin Chatwin, James Masters. USA. 1h 25m.
Sometimes a manga series can inspire huge things, and with a thriving fanbase both in Japan and here it’s something with could easily break the box office and sway merchandising for years to come. Admittedly I adore the animated series and would have been happy to watch a feature length film made with the same retro feel and expressions, going live, usually ruins such things but I was very interested to see how my favourite characters were going to be whitewashed and ruined, I guess there is a mini masochist inside of us all. Continue reading Dragonball: Evolution (2009)
Day 3 of 31
Director: Satoshi Kon
Writers : Yoshikazu Takeuchi, Lia Sargent
Starring: Junko Iwao Rica Matsumoto Shinpachi Tsuji Masaaki Ōkura . Japan. 1h 21m
Hitchcock meets Manga! At a time when Manga was hitting the UK in major ways it was seeming be a torrid landscapes of futuristic fighting, cybernetic hacking, blood violence and tits, a few unexpecting films managed to squeeze their way through the gaps, really defining that manga wasn’t going to be defined. Taking a leaf out of the book of Hitchcock it dabbles with a violent stalker as Mima struggles to keep her sanity.
Mima is a young and beautiful J-pop singer, who makes the life changing decision to go solo and shifts into the nerve racking world of sitcom acting, despite the anger and disappointment from her fans her loving agent stands by her side. Everything is going well for Mima despite her nerves and the alien environment, until the stalking starts, anonymous phone calls, soon turns into sinister dealing that reach a little closer to home and it’s all too much for the timid girl who’s already feeling out of her depth.
Creepy stalkers are in their hundreds as the ex pop idol was a no.1 commodity, but one in particular stands out, a deformed man who absolutely idolises Mima but is it too obvious to assume he’s the culprit. Mima herself slowly dissolves into the multiple possibilities that surround her as this Giallo action climaxes into a chase to the death.
Basically a Manga Noire really stands out from the crowd but sadly it didn’t inspire many other movies to made in this style. the astonishing factor that really stunned me was how cute and sunny the film remains despite all of the maiming starts, the breakdown of reality is also subtle and doesn’t follow those over dramatic hollywood steps so it does actually catch you off guard.Everything about the animation is perfect around the era when Manga was still blinding us with it’s brilliance and before computers took over the delicate art of animation, this really does break conjure up so many emotive scenes and with the fluid motion it’s like watching a film at times. The writing is complex and deep and the thrills build up until a slashing and dashing ending. It’s interesting how the film outlines the issues of teen idols and the pressures and dangers they have to endure also outlining various issues of how women are viewed and treated in Japan, it offers no suggestions on making things better but it does pinpoint where things are so totally fucked up.
Hitchcock may have been the influence of this intense thriller, the main character going through this hell ride not knowing what’s real or not, but the director most influenced by this film would be Darren Aronofsky, who admits that Requiem for a Dream (2000) and Black Swan (2010) both pull great influence from this pioneering and daring animation.
Flirting around with the advancements of Japanese lifestyle while repulsing anyone from actually wanting to live there with the amount of psycho’s that are roaming free in the sunny pleasant atmosphere literally drawn on the screen but the darker aspects of the film are terrifying. The terror that is built up by this unknown vicious stalker are mindblowing. The chases are exhilarating and the penultimate ending is sublime. I don’t want to go into details but it’s trippy rush..
Rating – 8/10
R – Audition (1999), Opera (1987), Requiem for a Dream (2000), Memories of Murder (2003)
L- A-Z of Manga, Selected Japanese movies, A-Z of Japanese films,
A – When I got hit in the face by Manga
And here is a clue for tomorrow’s film.. More than just a cut..
Director/Writer: Yoshiaki Kawajiri
Based on: Makai Tensho by Futaro Yamada
Starring: Koichi Yamadera, Emi Shinohara, Daisuke Gori, Kareshi Aono. Japan. 1h 34m.
I can’t believe this is my first Manga installment on the blog, but I have to start somewhere and I would have believed it would be with Akira (1988) or something cyber as that was always my main attraction to Japanese animation and Akira literally blew my away for years I was sketching scenes, trading cards and obsessing over rebuilding Tokyo.. but eventually I got into some other genres and then left it all behind when it became tooooooo computerised and cute, and err popular.. Hipster am I yes. Continue reading Ninja Scroll (1993)
Director Justin Nixon/USA/2016
A short stop motion sci fi story, written and directed by Justin Nixon that tells a warming story about a family of robots living in a desert dystopia. After a tragedy in the family they go to their local “church” to get help but ACCESS DENIED this spurs the family to discover the truth behind dark secret of the faith. On a small budget of $5000 raised by a Crowdfund, Nixon has created an extremely poignant story that displays strong will that doesn’t follow the the crowd and questions dogmatic views. It’s incredibly detailed and what stands out is that this futuristic robotic story is based in a wild west background with a strong theological core.
Rating : 7/10
R – Blackwater Gospel, TARBOY, Invention of Love
GNOMEO AND JULIETTE – (Animation, Comedy, 2011) (PG) D: Kelly Asbury C: James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Maggie Smith 1h 40m UK
The neighboring gardens of Montague and Capulet are at war, but the gnomes, Gnomeo and Juliet, are in love.
Yeah I still watch cartoons. Pixar garden version of Romeo and Juliette if you didn’t guess. It’s a kids film but it’s funny as f*ck! I love the flamingo, the teeny rabbits and the kitty clipper.. No something I’d expect anyone on my blog to really watch so i won’t go into any details.