Thursday, July 31, 2008

Cat Power?

Nerkojiro-Su(lit. Nekojiro Grass)(engl title. Cat Soup)Directed by Tatsuo Sato(2001)

I wish I would have watched this with sub-titles, there's not many words, but I was watching off the net, so I took what I could get.
It's literally a psychedilic Hello Kitty, inspired by the surreal dream inspired manga's of Nekojiru, a female Japanese comics artsit, who commited suicide three years before this film was made. She drew almost everyone she knew and met as Cat characters, and this draws from her most experimental works. It's a little like the story of Orpheus, with cute kittens who end up in a surreal landscape of the dead, populated by assorted bizzaros, grotesquieries, and beauties. One kitten dies and the other goes to the land of the dead to rescue it. Why I liked this was because there were things here I hadn't seen before, oceans frozen with whales suspended between waves, liquid elephants you can swim in as you ride, a magician sawing his assitant into pieces and then putting her back together by summoning a tornado, not to mention the virtuoso sequence where all the images run backward.
It's great, cute, odd, brightly colored, anime fun for adults.
Also the short run time, keeps it from getting too cute, or too much. It's just right, and kind of oddly beautiful.
Great short film, and great anime, not derivative of greats like Miyazaki or Otomo. A world unto itself, from a tragically undercut artistic career.If you get a chance to see this film or read her comics, the strange world of Nekojiru is one you are, if nothing else, not likely to forget.

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