Thursday, August 26, 2010

Satoshi Kon- (1963-2010)


When dreams and reality coincide, the concoction can be deliciously smooth and fantastic, literally. Satoshi Kon’s anime mostly allude to that concoction – the merging of the real and the fantasy, the thoughts and the illusions blurring lines between. But these are not the only pegs to his storytelling. Kon’s creation are an amazing introduction to the world where line blurs, the definition concedes a conundrum, giving way to a chaos of simplicity. Like the name, Studio Madhouse, that has produced all his films till date, Kon’s films delve into a realm that tries to reflect the utter madness that our imagination can infuse into any ordinary circumstance. Portions of his films feel like captured memories, the heightened ones of course.

Manga –artist turned anime director, Satoshi Kon’s oeuvre, over the last two decades, garnered him the name “auteur anime director”. His films have been known for defying the conventional genre and their exquisite, fantastic choice of subject. Though a protégé of the famous Katsuhiro ‘Akira’ Otomo and often hailed at the same level with Spirited Away director Hayao Miyazaki, Kon clearly carves a different space altogether. The filmography of this graduate from the Musashino College of Arts, includes films like Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress, Tokyo Godfathers, Paprika and the alternate television anime series, Paranoia Agent, among others. Most of his works are adaptations or influenced by some form of previously existing works- like Perfect Blue is loosely based on the novel by Yoshikazu Takeuchi. In Kon’s words, he was given the freedom to use his interpretation and play with the script only keeping the three keywords – ‘idol’, ‘horror’ and ‘fan’. And these are the primary premises of the film. Like he said, he deliberately employed different point of view to his storytelling. What you remember at the end of the film is the sense of déjà vu that the protagonist Mima undergoes throughout this play-within-a-play film. READ MORE

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Anime Cine Experience, New Delhi


Cine Darbaar, in collaboration with the Embassy of Japan, Directorate of Film Festivals, Japan Foundation, is organizing a 3-day Animation film festival at Siri Fort auditorium II on the 20th, 21st & 22nd August, 2010. It’s the first time that a festival will be celebrating Japanese-Anime, Manga (Comics) and Pop-culture in India. Anime Cine Experience will be bringing the great anime works of Japan with films like The Girl who leapt through time, Grave of the fireflies, 5cm per second, Voices of Distant Star, The Place Promised in Our Early Days. In its inaugural edition the festival will showcase Japanese comics, anime serial, short film competitions, pop-culture exhibitions.

To give the audience a wider understanding of Anime, the festival will have workshops and special discussions will be conducted by one of the emerging game designers in India, Mr. Shubham Mauria, on the topic of The Relation of Anime and Its Avatars in Popular Culture in Relation to Japanese Gaming and Beyond. While Mr. Kshitiz Anand will be conducting “A workshop on animation with focus on Japan and its relation to world animation, ideas on 3D & 2D and the basic animation market”

Apart from these workshops, festival is also organizing a short-film competition. All the entries will run in a loop on Plasma TV in the Siri Fort auditorium lobby, which will be available for viewing by all the attendees of the festival. Short Anime corner will screen the 10 best short films and the top three films will be awarded. The festival will also have an exhibition of Manga (Japanese comics in English) along with a photography exhibition on Japan.

Cine Darbaar’s sister organization- Indian Auteur, a film journal will be publishing a special issue on Anime for the festival with the help of Japan Foundation. The issue will cover articles on directors like Hayao Miyazaki, Satoshi Kon, Mamoru Oshii, Makoto Shinkai and more. Indian Auteur is the only web journal existing in India writing extensively on Indian and world cinema. With the special Anime issue Indian Auteur will be going print in August and can be subscribed by all educational institutes as well as culture centers.

Cine Darbaar & Embassy of Japan, Japan Foundation & Directorate of Film Festivals, India invite you to

Anime Cine Experience

at

SIRI FORT AUDITORIUM-II


20th August, 2010


6: 30 PM: The Girl who leapt through time: 2006, 98 MINUTES, ROMANCE/DRAMA

Synopsis: A teenage girl finds that she has the ability to leap through time. With her newfound power, she tries to use it to her advantage, but soon finds that tampering with time can lead to some rather discomforting results.


21st August, 2010

11:30 AM: Voices of a Distant Star: 2003, 25 MINUTES, ROMANCE/SCIENCE FICTION

Synopsis: A high school romance is split apart when one member of the couple enlists in the UN space army to fight aliens who attacked our Martian colony. We follow their lives through the text messages they send one another, though the delivery times increase from a few minutes while she trains in orbit to over a eight years as her crew delves deeper into the universe searching for Earth’s enemies.

12:30 – 2:30 PM WORKSHOP by Khitiz Anand

3:30 PM 5 Centimeters Per Second: a chain of short stories about their distance, 2007, 63 MINUTES, DRAMA/ROMANCE

Synopsis: Takaki and Akari are two classmates in elementary school. During their time together they have become close friends. Their relationship is tested when Akari moves to another city because of her parents’ jobs. Both of them struggle to keep their friendship alive, as time and distance slowly pulls them apart. When Takaki finds out that he is moving further away, he decides to visit Akari one last time.

5:30 PM: The Place Promised in Our Early Days, 2004 91 MINUTES, DRAMA/SCIENCE FICTION

Synopsis: The story takes place in a alternate postwar period, in 1996, where Japan is divided. Hokkaido is ruled by the “Union” while Honshu and other southern islands are under US authority. A tall tower was built on Hokkaido, which could even be seen from Tokyo. In the summer of 1996, three middle-school students make a promise that they’ll cross the border with a self-constructed plane and unravel the tower’s secret, but their project was abandoned after the girl, Sayuri Sawatari, became mysteriously ill and transferred to Tokyo. Years later on the brink of another war Hiroki Fujisawa finds out that Sayuri had been in coma since then, and he asks Takuya Shirakawa to help him finding a way to wake her up.

22nd August, 2010

11:30 AM: Short Anime Corner

1: 30 PM: Talk by Mr. Shubhank Mauria

4: 00 PM : Chibi Maruko Chan: 93 Min/1990

Synopsis: As the second term commences, Maruko and her classmates return to their small groups. Maruko’s group includes two naughty boys and Maruko is forced to be one of their subordinates. She seems to face a lot of pressure at school. As the school’s athletic meet approaches, all the classmates are busy exercising. Maruko is no exception, although her laziness means that she is late sometimes. Maruko realizes that the two boys rival each other in everything they do, and that their friendship is deep and strong.

6:00 PM : Grave of the fireflies: 88 MIN/1988

Synopsis: Setsuko and Seita are brother and sister living in wartime Japan. After their mother is killed in an air raid they find a temporary home with relatives. Having quarreled with their aunt they leave the city and make their home in an abandoned shelter. While their father’s destiny who was a soldier is unknown the two must depend on each other to somehow keep a roof over their heads and food in their stomachs. When everything is in short supply, they gradually succumb to hunger and their only entertainment is the light of the fireflies. READ MORE