At Film Space on Saturdays at 7 pm
April is “The Month of Animation” at Film Space.
Film Space is to the right and in the back of the CMU Art Museum, in the Media Arts and Design building across from the ballet school. Showings are in a classroom on the second floor or on the roof, weather permitting. For the roof, you might want to bring something to sit on or lie on. A contribution is requested in the donation box at the entrance – you should leave 20 baht. Well worth supporting.
At Film Space Saturday, April 11: Cat Soup / Nekojiru-so / ねこぢる草 (2003) by Tatsuo Sato – 34 mins – Japan, Animation/Short/ Comedy/ Fantasy.
If you want to try out just one Japanese animation this year, make it Cat Soup! It’s utterly outrageous, wicked, and thought-provoking. And briliant! NOT FOR YOUNG CHILDREN! Just as an example, notice the pig in the picture, who is a companion to the two kittens. When the kittens get hungry, they simply carve into their favorite pork cuts, slice out what they want, eat the meat, and if there are any left-overs, feed them to the pig.
The story goes like this: When Death steals half of the soul of the little kitten Nyaako, leaving her brain-dead, her brother Nyatta takes her on a bizarre journey to get it back. In the surreal dreamscape of the Other Side, they encounter many fantastic characters and remarkable, often violent and disturbing, adventures. Chemically enhanced individuals should especially enjoy this.
Beyond Hollywood.com: A word of caution: Cat Soup is not for children. While the two main cat characters are cute and cuddly, there are some bloody and very mature moments. At one point, a woman gets cut into pieces by a giant spinning blade. In general, limbs are being lopped off on a daily basis throughout the short. The dismemberings are not too graphic as to be disgusting, but they can be a bit disturbing for younger viewers. The cats may look darn cute, but the short is not for minors.
Here is a sample of the plot:
They find a circus in the woods where God is the magician ringleader. God slices a woman into pieces which fly about then recombine, and God creates objects from his breath. The crowd applauds but Nyatta's sister doesn't react. A huge bird who has swallowed the sky is unveiled and tormented until it bursts into a storm flood which destroys the cats' town. Following a clockwork metal butterfly, Nyatta finds them a boat to survive, with a subservient pig that they carve alive for food.
If you would like to try out the film first you can find it online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mH5sacgeY5Q. Or, though discontinued, you can still buy it at Amazon.com for $44.99. Yes, only 34 minutes long. But you’ll have nightmares for weeks . . .
At Film Space Saturday, April 18: Persepolis (2007) written and directed by Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi– 96 mins – France/ US, Animation/ Biography/ Drama/ War. Reviews: Universal acclaim: 90/82 out of 100.
France's official submission for the Best Foreign-Language Film category at the 2008 Academy Awards.
Iran's government sent a letter to the French embassy in Tehran to protest against the movie and pressured the organizers of the 2007 Bangkok Film Festival to drop it from the lineup.
Rotten Tomatoes synopsis: Persepolis is an emotionally powerful, dramatically enthralling autobiographical gem, and the film's simple black-and-white images are effective and bold.
Variety:Any stragglers still unconvinced that animation can be an exciting medium for both adults and kids will run out of arguments in the face of "Persepolis." Like the four-volume series of graphic novels on which it's based, this autobiographical tour de force is completely accessible and art of a very high order. First-person tale of congenitally rebellious Marjane Satrapi, who was 8 years old when the Islamic Revolution transformed her native Teheran, boasts a bold lyricism spanning great joy and immense sorrow. In both concept and execution, hand-drawn toon is a winner.
At Film Space Saturday, April 25: La Vieille dame et les pigeons / The Old Lady and the Pigeons (1998) Sylvain Chomet– 25 mins – France/ UK/ Canada, Animation/Comedy/ Short. Reviews: Universal acclaim: 90/82 out of 100.
Nominated for Oscar; BAFTA Award for best animated short.
A cranky gendarme sees an old woman feeding pigeons in the park and schemes to get his own grand repast. Except for tourist commentsat the start and end, Sylvain Chomet's animation is a dialogue-free surreal delight. Other works:The Triplets of Belleville.
IMDb viewer: The Old Lady and the Pigeons is the epitome of bad taste cartoons, a darkly fun half-hour in the company of skewed figures and warped minds.