08 May 2022

Resonance – A Selection of Japanese Animated Shorts

Resonance – A Selection of Japanese Animated Shorts
Sunday, 29 May 2022, 14:45
Naxos Cinema
Frankfurt am Main

I am proud to announce my animation selection for this year’s Nippon Connection in Frankfurt am Main.  Unlike my friends and colleagues overseas, my cinema-going habits have not been infringed upon by pandemic restrictions… I have only missed out on many of the usual social activities in the animation community here in Japan.   Any pandemic depression has been alleviated by the beauty of the animation I have seen in the past year and my mind has been engaged by the compelling ideas that Japanese and Japan-based animators have been exploring through their work.

This selection represents the best of the films whose images and ideas resonated in my mind for weeks and months after seeing them.  YANO Homami’s compelling pointillist A Bite of the Bone (my review), the first animation produced by YAMAMURA Kōji’s Au Praxinoscope, has been collecting awards at festivals around the world including OIAF and DigiCon6.  Another former Geidai student of Yamamura, YUKI Yōko (幸洋子) has just released her new film produced by Au Praxinoscope: In the Big Yard inside the Teeny-Weeny Pocket (ミニミニポッケの大きな庭で, 2022) which I am hoping to see at the Hiroshima Animation Season.

We have shown films by Yano, IWASAKI Hirotoshi, TABATA Shizuki, KUDO Masa, KIM HakHyun, and HIRANO Ryō at Nippon Connection before and I am delighted that these artists are continuing to make such excellent work. Trigger warning for Hirano's Krasue - it has horror motifs and is not appropriate for children.

I discovered the work of SAKAKIBARA Sumito for the first time this year watching the New Chitose online selection.  Originally from Hokkaido, Sakakibara lives and works in Nagano Precture but got his animation training in the UK.  His use of colour in Iizuna Fair is quite fantastic and I love the slow tracking shot from right to left like the deliberate unfurling of a scroll – check out the trailer here.

YASHIRO Takeshi’s reputation for unique stop motion animation with a handmade feel has grown and grown since he started specializing the aesthetic in 2012.   His talents were recognized by his peers this year when he was awarded the Noburō Ōfuji Award at the Mainichi Film Awards for Pukkulapottas and Hours in the Forest.  The film experiments with stop motion using location timelapse photography (ロケコマ撮り/ Roke-komadori).

My thanks to the animators and to Florian Höhr for his hard work at Nippon Connection.

A Bite of the Bone / 骨嚙み / Honekami
YANO Homami / 矢野ほなみ / 2021
10 min.

On Time Off Time
IWASAKI Hirotoshi / 岩崎宏俊 / 2020
9 min. 8 sec.

Iizuna Fair / 飯縄縁日 / Iizuna Ennichi
SAKAKIBARA Sumito / 榊原澄人 / 2021
11 min. 32 sec.

TABATA Shizuko / 田端志津子 / 2020
7 min 15 sec.

Still Life
KUDO Masa / 工藤 雅 / 2021
3 min 30 sec.

KIM HakHyun / キムハケン / 2021
7 min 22 sec.

Pukkulapottas and Hours in the Forest
Takeshi YASHIRO / 八代健志 / 2021
15 min 27 sec

HIRANO Ryō / ひらのりょう/ 2021
11 min 50 sec.

 2022 Catherine Munroe Hotes