A personal diary keeping people abreast of what I am working on writing-wise.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Today was the day with the event I was most excited about. I headed down early to make sure I could get in to see Tekkon Kinkreet, the anime adaptation of the manga Black & White by Taiyo Matsumoto.

This film definitely lived up to expectations. A surreal story set in a squalid future (or was it the past?), it involves gangsters, super fighters, and two homeless brothers who rule Treasure Town. The Cat Gang, using the monikers Black and White, basically live as if the world is their oyster, but their connection has some deeper, metaphysical overtones that lend the movie a philosophical weight. They are the yin to each other's yang. The movie is a genre explosion, including exciting action and a completely mindblowing third act. The animation style preserves some of Matsumoto's line work, but pulls back on the detail to a degree, giving it life, movement, and color. It's mainly hand-drawn animation, with some effective use of CGI.

Interestingly, Tekkon Kinkreet was directed by an American, Michael Arias, and he came out for the screening. After the film was done, he sat down with David Walker for a thirty-minute chat.

I stuck around after for the third round in the competition of short films. Ten movies from around the world, and naturally, a mixed bag. The best were "God On Our Side" (dir. Uri Kranot & Michal Pfeffer), a cut-and-paste film from the Netherlands that showed the horrors of war by taking pieces of Picasso's Guernica and bringing them to life; Ian Gouldstone's "Guy 101," a British-produced student film cleverly using online icons to describe an online encounter, which takes a strange turn that held the audience in a tight grip; and Sweden's "Never Like the First Time" (dir. Jonas Odell), animating four different real monologues about how the speaker lost his or her virginity, using a different style each time.

Also noticeable was Andreas Hykade's "The Runt" from Germany, which was an unsettling look at the personal travails of rabbit farming, and Nick Mackie's "Cold Calling," a British man's real audio of him giving crap to telemarketers. On the bad side were two other films from the UK. Chris Shepherd and David Shrigley's "Who I Am and What I Want" was poorly drawn and nigh incomprehensible from a narrative standpoint, and it's bodily function jokes just got more obvious the longer it went on. The Welsh-produced "Dreams & Desires - Family Ties" (dir. Joanna Quinn) was better drawn, reminiscent of Bill Plympton in its style, but overly frenetic. Plus, a gauzy soundtrack made it impossible to understand the thick accents. I was also annoyed by the fact that Quinn established a POV of her main character running a video camera, but then allowed the scenes to morph into fantasy. You can't lock down the conceit of a real-world POV and then suddenly have angels and orgies.

The screening was almost marred by the fact that I had sat in front of three industry insiders who talked rather loudly about how they had seen most of the films before the lights went out, and then proceeded to complain about the ones they did not like during the actual showings. Tip of the Day: You never want to sit by industry insiders at an industry function of any kind. They are full of themselves and won't shut up. Don't sit next to me at a comics function for just that reason. I'm unbearable!

Also, slightly overweight bald men who like to wear baseball caps, listen up. If your cap is going to make you sweat and itch so you have to pull it off every five minutes to air your dome, don't wear it. And don't sit in front of me at the movies!

Anyway, not sure how much I'm actually going to catch in the next two days due to other things. If you don't hear about more of this Fest until Friday, don't fret. That's just the way it is.

Current Soundtrack: Girl Group Sounds Lost & Found: One Kiss Can Lead To Another [Disc 2]

Current Mood: alone

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All text (c) 2007 Jamie S. Rich


Marc Ellerby said...

Black & White is one of my favourite comics, ever. Surprising as I hate most Mangas, but unsurprising as Taiyo's book are truly something else.

I hope this Anime brings some more interest to his work. I still can't believe you can't get a translated Ping Pong anywhere and that Viz aren't doing No.5 anymore. Grrrrr.

steve said...

Happy to see you posting on Platform, even if it is a mixed bag for you.