Kamiyama Kenji, Japan, 2012
Ishinomori Shoutaro’s Cyborg 009 is one of the hallmark sci-fi manga and anime series of the 1960′s and 70′s. Part of a golden age that also brought the world Tetsuwan Atom (Astro Boy), Tetsujin 28-go, Uchuu Senkan Yamato and countless other mecha/sci-fi epics, Ishinomori’s nine cyborgs were firmly entrenched into the imaginations of a generation of young fans as heroes, ordinary people who were kidnapped and turned into weapons of mass destruction, who fought their evil masters and won their freedom.
009 Re:Cyborg brings the series back to life, and into the modern age. Set many years after their final disappearance, a terrorist organisation threatens the world. Mankind needs its heroes once more.
With breathtaking action sequences and relentless pacing, 009 Re:Cyborg is a renaissance not only of its heroes, but also of the children within us - and the children within the animators who worked on this film - who once stared in wonder of how a future of science could shape the world.
Find out more about how Oshii influenced Kamiyama, the director of this film on Sunday, as part of the Oshii panel!
(c) 2012 009 RE:CYBORG Production Committee
Toshiyuki Kubooka, Japan, 2012-3
Midnight Madness programme
The entire first arc of Miura Kentarou’s celebrated fantasy manga series. A lone soldier becomes a part of a mercenary band called the Band of the Hawk, and is drawn into the ambitions of its leader Griffith to rise above the common roots from which he came - a journey that will either raise him to the heavens, or destroy everything that he has come to care about.
This screening features all three films in the arc, in their uncensored form. The films depict heavy violence and mature situations. Viewer discretion is advised.
All rights © KENTAROU MIURA(STUDIO GAGA) HAKUSENSHA/BERSERK FILM PARTNERS
Otto Guerra, Brazil, 2013
What happens when the wall falls between a small, content, backwards country and the rest of the world? Hilarity, chaos and the absurd! Based on the musical theatrical spectacle of Tangos e Tragedias (Tangos and Tragedies) by Nico Gomez and Hique Nicolaiewsky, who have toured and delighted the stages of the world for 25 years with folk music from their imaginary country of Sbornia.
Years in production, this film premiered and won Best Brazilian Film (Fiction) at the prestigious São Paolo International Film Festival in 2013.
Richard Williams, U.K., 1993
Garrett Gilchrist (restoration), U.S.A., 2013 (mark IV)
Few films in animation have achieved the legendary status and notoriety of The Thief and the Cobbler, if only because the history of its production so succinctly and precisely captures the dark fear of any artist: an attempt to make a masterpiece that gets derailed by time, and losing the work to financial backers who meddle and cobble a final product that resembles nothing of the artist’s vision.
Best known for his work on Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Richard Williams worked more than 28 years on this project, starting in 1964. Intended to be his life’s work, independently-funded and produced, Williams parlayed his success with Roger Rabbit into a production and distribution deal with Warner Brothers, which fell through when Williams was unable to complete the film on time. The film was seized by bondsmen and given over to a third party to complete, without Williams’ involvement.
That release was widely criticised as one of the worst films of all time. Its creative roots, the heavy influences on films like Disney’s Aladdin were ignored, and the film faded from public consciousness. But underneath was a gem, and it would take the painstaking work of an amateur named Gilchrist to bring it back to life. The version being exhibited is the latest edit, completed earlier this fall.
Be sure to also see the companion film Persistence of Vision, Kevin Schreck’s brilliant documentary about Richard Williams and the film.
Marc Boréal / Thibaut Chatel, France, 2013
Set in the 1970s in a small provincial town. When Jean’s teacher asks him where his father and his mother worked, he realises that he is not like the others. So he invents an answer: that his mom is a secretary. In fact, she’s travelling, and sending him postcards to him via his neighbour Michèle who reads it to him.
Soon, Jean begins to dream - and perhaps it’s all true. And between September and Christmas of that year, Jean begins to understand what that means.
Jung Henin, Laurent Boileau, Belgium, 2012
This remarkable animated documentary traces the upbringing of filmmaker Jung Henin, one of over 200,000 thousand Korean children adopted by Western families since the end of the Korean War. It is the story of a boy stranded between two cultures. Sepia-toned animated vignettes – some humorous and some poetic – track Jung from the day he first meets his new blond siblings, through elementary school, and into his teenage years, when his emerging sense of identity begins to create fissures at home and ignite the latent biases of his adoptive parents.
The filmmaker tells his story using his own animation intercut with snippets of super-8 family footage and archival film. The result is an animated memoir like no other: clear-eyed and unflinching, humorous and wry, and above all, inspiring in the capacity of the human heart.
Anina Yatay Salas is a ten-year old girl. All her names form palindromes, making her the butt of her classmates’ jokes, and especially of Yisel’s, who Anina sees as an “elephant.”
One day, fed up with all the taunting, Anina starts a fight with Yisel during recess. The incident ends with the principal penalizing the girls and calling their parents.
Anina receives her punishment inside a sealed black envelope, which she’s told not to open until she meets with the principal again a week later. She’s also forbidden to tell anyone about the envelope.
In her anxiousness to find out what horrible punishment awaits her in the mysterious black envelope, Anina will get mixed up in a series of troubles, involving secret loves, confessed hatreds,
close friendships, dreadful enemies, some loving teachers, and also some evil teachers.
Without her realizing it, Anina’s efforts to understand the content of the envelope turn into an attempt to understand the world and her place in it.
Ari Folman, Israel, 2013
Robin Wright - an aging, out-of-work actress - accepts her final job: to be captured digitally, so that Hollywood can use her in films forever.
Loosely adapted from Stanlislaw Lem’s “The Futurological Congress,” Ari Folman follows his stellar debut film Waltz With Bashir with a critical focus on the art and the industry of filmmaking in the brave new digital age. Made in a mix of live-action and digital animation, Folman’s original and ambitious premise is anchored well by Wright, who plays an alternate history version of herself in the film. The film is marred by being a cautionary tale for something that is well on its way of happening, for example in the world of 3D CGI games using motion-captured actors; films like Avatar have also begun to use this type of technology. That does not stop the film from asking serious questions about the future of filmmaking, and that’s fun.
Striving to make the best animated film of all time, visionary animator Richard Williams (Oscar-winning animation director of Who Framed Roger Rabbit) toiled for more than three decades on his masterpiece, The Thief and the Cobbler - only to have it torn from his hands.
Filmmaker Kevin Schreck has woven together mind-blowing animation, rare archival footage, and exclusive interviews with key animators and artists who worked with Williams on his ill-fated magnum opus to bring this legendary, forgotten chapter of cinema history to the screen for the very first time.
A tale of creative genius gone horribly awry, Persistence of Vision is the untold story of the greatest animated film never made.
Alessandro Rak, Italy, 2013
Under a leaden sky, among the apocalyptic presages of a Naples at the height of its degradation, a taxi driver named Sergio receives news which overwhelms him. Nothing can ever be as it was.
Now Sergio looks at himself in the mirror and what he sees is a forty-year-old man, who has turned his back on music and has become lost in the limbo of his city.
The taxi becomes the microcosm within which he withdraws to escape his world, but into which the world comes and goes through his passengers.
As the storm rages outside, the car begins to crowd with memories, hopes, regrets, and new opportunities.
Now he knows who the passengers are: they are souls, ghosts, memories, paths. Or they are messengers of a sun rising elsewhere, bringing with it the revelation of what is beyond the confines of his windshield.
Sooner or later the rain will cease and the sky will open.
And from there, the end will come. Or the music will return.
This brilliant inaugural film from Alessandro Rak brings to cinematic form the essence of the arts and cultural festival of the same name. The festival’s theme is about truth in its multiple aspects: the hidden truth, the relative truth, the revealing, the absolute and the revealed.
Luiz Bolognesi, Brazil, 2013
“To live without know the past is to walk in the dark.”
So opens this bold, ambitious animated feature film from Brazil that spans 600 years of Brazilian history, past and future - with more than a little of the flair and structure of the Wachowskis’ Cloud Atlas. A native warrior named Abeguar is deeply in love with the beautiful Janaina, and when they are forced to jump from a cliff to flee from a wild animal, they are marked - for the universe has another purpose for them, and the struggle against oppression is eternal.