animashun nashun

Iris, Jeskargh and i bought tickets for a couple of animation screenings at the film festival Animation Nation, just to check stuff out, because it wasn't like these sort of stuff happened often, and because we were in this sort of course. and mebbe because Mr. B was totally throwing AN pamphlets at us. haha.

The Piano Forest / ピアノの森
Director: Masayuki Kojima

a very charming tale of the friendship and bond formed between two boys who couldn't be any more different, and of their story revolving around a mysterious and broken piano standing in the forest.
the animation was simple and clean, and yet it clearly expressed the varied and provoked emotions of each character. the story is simple enough, comparing the livestyles and perspectives of two very different people; one who has been walking in his famous father's footsteps and playing the piano to live up to expectations, and one who simply loves and delights in playing the piano for pleasure.
it left a slightly bittersweet taste. emotions stirred. i knew what it was like to envy someone who simply had it all handed to him, to give opportunities away casually, to want to live up to social norms, to want to throw everything away and do as you like for the love of life.

Genius Party
an anthology of 7 short films by various directors and Studio 4C. i was very much looking forward to this, but after the whole thing, i had to admit i was slightly disappointed. i was eagerly anticipating Tatsuyuki Tanaka, but i didn't see much of his influence.
some of the animations were pretty good in terms of concept and/or design, but some were just mind-boggling and bewildering. a very good case example would be Limit Cycle. filled with psychedelic color, dizzy patterns and various chaos theory charts, it just confused the audience with its abstract graphics and philosophical-sounding droning narration which couldn't convey the message across. at the end, everyone clapped, not because it was astounding, but because it was over.
Happy Machine was pretty good in its concept, but i couldn't say what it was, i could only feel it. i guess that's good in it's own way as well. all in all, i hope Genius Party Beyond will be much better than this. D:

Freedom Project
Director: Shuhei Morita

i wasn't exactly expecting a lot from this, i just decided to give it a shot since it sounded pretty interesting. to my utter surprise, this was the most mind-blowing of the lot. screening 7 OVA episodes back-to-back with an intermission, along with superb character and environmental concepts and designs. watch this if you ever get the chance to.
it's one of the best animation sequences i've ever come across, both in terms of storyline concept and animation design. the OP was Utada's 'This Is Love', a song i'd actually deleted but reclaimed after watching FP. total boom. my only nit to pick would be that the ending seemed kinda weak, and the animation seemed too.. fluid to be natural. but ignoring those, Freedom Project was absolutely wonderful. especially the OP sequence. my soul just went jelly everytime the OP started. sigh..
i can't believe this was a promotional project for Nissin Cup Noodles for their 35th Anniversary in '06. it's too damn good, and the audience definitely loved the strategically placed cup noodles throughout the episodes. i'm going to support Nissin from now on. :B

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