A bust of Stalin is cut open on an operating table, leading to an elaborate animated depiction of Czech history from 1948 (the Communist takeover) to 1989 (the Velvet Revolution). Some knowledge of the subject is essential in order to understand the film, which is entirely visual. Continue reading
Two pieces of meat fall in love.
A human body gradually reconstructs itself as its various component parts crowd themselves into a small room and eventually, after much experimentation, sort out which part goes where. Continue reading
The last moments of a creature made out of fruits and vegetables.
No number of superlatives that I could laud upon Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro could convey the amount of joy that it brings me, but I’ll throw out a few anyway. It’s Miyazaki’s finest work! It’s the best film of 1988! It’s the best animated feature ever made (even better than two other great animated films of ’88: Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and Akira!)! I’ve seen it countless times, but it never loses a bit of its enchanting luster. It invigorates me with the same sense of gleeful pleasure that most people talk about when they describe movies like E.T. and The Wizard of Oz, but I’d gladly take it over either of those two classics. There’s something special and elusive about the wonderland Miyazaki creates, and I think he gets closer to a child’s mindset here than either of those two films do. The main reason for this is probably because Miyazaki doesn’t saddle his movie down with an adult’s unnecessary desire for plot and meaningful action. Don’t get me wrong here: it’s not as if this movie has no plot, but it doesn’t play out in the schematic way that most coming of age films do. There are no big revelations, no momentous life lessons learned, and best of all no superfluous morality. The movie takes place in an overwhelmingly decent world, but it never harps upon that decency, so it feels intrinsic instead of tacked on. Continue reading
In a little village somewhere in Africa, a boy named Kirikou is born. But he’s not a normal boy, because he knows what he wants very well. Also he already can speak and walk. His mother tells him how an evil sorceress has dried up their spring and devoured all males of the village except of one. Hence little Kirikou decides, he will accompany the last warrior to the sorceress. Due to his intrepidity he may be the last hope of the village. Continue reading
Comic-book artist Jung returns to Seoul for the first time since he was abandoned at the age of 5. Continue reading