19 May 2017

Animation at Nippon Connection 2017

Animation at Nippon Connection 2017
23-28 May 2017
Frankfurt am Main

Japan is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the advent of anime and the selection of films at this years Nippon Connection demonstrates the diversity of that art in Japan with works ranging from the mainstream to the experimental.  In addition to myself, there are two animation guests this year.  Taruto Fuyama is representing Tokyo University of the Arts (Geidai) as part of the exchange between sister cities Yokohama and Frankfurt am Main.  On Thursday, he will present a selection of works by this years crop of talented Geidai grads (details) and on Saturday, he will run an animation workshop for kids aged 6 and up.  On Sunday, you can check out my selection Poetic Landscapes – Recent Gems in Japanese Indie Animation.  I will be in attendance accompanied by the innovative illustrator and graphic designer Hayato Nove, director of the animated short Affordance

Last year the experimental animator Takashi Makino did a live performance with the Jazz musician Hilary Jeffrey during screenings of his works Cinéma Concret (2015) and Cinéma Direct (2015) as well as an animation workshop.  This year, his 2014 work Ghost of OT301 will be screened as an installation every evening in Shaut!, the installation room of the cinema Mal Seh'n, from 7 - 11pm.  More info here.

Sunao Katabuchi’s In This Corner of the World has received a lot of critical acclaim since its release last November.  Adapted from the manga of the same name by Hiroshima mangaka Fumiyo Kono, it is a girl’s coming of age tale set against the backdrop of World War 2.  Critics Maggie Lee and Mark Schilling have drawn a comparison with the humanist war films of such masters as Keisuke Kinoshita and Shindo Kaneto.  The trailer enticed me with its depiction of the Japanese landscape, so I am looking forward to seeing if the work fits into my research into environment themes in Japanese animation. 

A Silent Voice is also an adaptation of a manga by a female author (Yoshitoki Ōima) but this time the director is also a woman, rising star Naoko Yamada of Kyoto Animation.   It tells the story of the unlikely friendship that develops between the class bully and an easy target of bullying – a deaf girl who is a newcomer at the school.  The film has been warmly received both at the box office and at international festivals. 

For children, Nippon Connection is presenting Chieri and Cherry and Rudolf the Black Cat.  As no German dubs exist for these two films, the will be presented with live German translation.  Chieri and Cherry is a stop motion animation by Makoto Nakamura, director of the 2010 adaptation of the Russian children’s classic CheburashkaChieri and Cherry tells the story of the adventures of a lonely girl and her plush toy rabbit.  Rudolf the Black Cat is a 3DCG animation based on a book series by Hiroshi Saito.

The NHK documentary Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki will by screened by NHK World with an opportunity to win a plush Domo-kun (the NHK mascot). Learn more here.

Chieri and Cherry
Chieri to Cheri
Director: Makoto NAKAMURA
Japan 2015, 54 min,
Japanese with English subtitles and German live voice over, age 0+
Thursday, May 25, 16:00 Mal Seh’n Kino

In This Corner of the World
Kono sekai no katasumi ni
Director: Sunao KATABUCHI
Japan 2016, DCP, 129 min, Japanese with German subtitles, age 12+
Saturday, May 27, 22:15 Mal Seh’n Kino
Sunday, May 28, 12:00 Mousonturm Saal

Poetic Landscapes – Recent Gems in Japanese Indie Animation
in the presence of the curator Dr. Catherine Munroe Hotes and director Hayato Nove
Sunday, May 28, 17:15 Naxoshalle Kino

Rudolf the Black Cat
Rudorufu to Ippaiattena
Director: Kunihiko YUYAMA, Motonori SAKAKIBARA
Japan 2016, 90 min, Japanese with English subtitles and German live voice over, age 0+
German premiere
Sunday, May 28, 15:00 Naxoshalle Kino

A Silent Voice
映画 聲の形
Eiga koe no katachi
Director: Naoko YAMADA
Japan 2016, 129 min, Japan. OV with Hard-of-Hearing subtitles (English), age 6+
German premiere
Thursday, May 25, 12:00 Mousonturm Saal
Saturday, May 27, 13:30 Mal Seh’n Kino

Tokyo University of the Arts: Animation
In the presence of Taruto FUYAMA
Thursday, May 25, 15:15 Naxoshalle Kino

Learn more

Cathy Munroe Hotes 2017