The glimmering surfaces of this endearing microcosmic fantasy-adventure hide great depths that promise to only get greater with time
Makoto Shinkai's blockbuster is an eyeful and a heartful, but look closely and you'll see the seams
Maverick director Masaaki Yuasa retells one of Gō Nagai's infamous operas of ultraviolence, with Yuasa adding both his trademark psychedelic visuals and a story that ultimately aims to break your heart, not just turn your stomach
When a piece of science fiction is overtaken or echoed by reality, it tends to be either magnificent or horrifying, with very little room in between. The parts of Project Itoh's Genocidal Organ that seem to be coming most true are not the bio-gizmos used in its high-tech warfare sequences, but how one of humanity's oldest technologies, language, can become its own weapon of mass murder. And now, here we are in 2018, where cries of "fake news" can pre-emptively character-assassinate any claim of fact, and where the political vocabulary has been slashed down to the language of othering and vituperation. So, yes, Genocidal Organ is horrifying, although somewhat more in its original novel form than in its sleekly animated version. Both are something of an endurance test, but then again, genocide isn't supposed to be anyone's idea of a good time. We hope.
My favorite movies are the ones that defy me, that dare me to try and wrap my arms around them. Every aspect of Toshio Matsumoto's Funeral Parade Of Roses shouts defiance: its non-linear, non-narrative narrative; its polymorphous and anarchic sexuality; its free embrace of everything from Douglas Sirk melodrama to vérité filmmaking to knockabout farce to blood-spattered horror; its lead role, inhabited by one of modern Japan's most flamboyant and outré public figures. All of this comes by way of what amounts to several films in one: a love triangle in Tokyo's homosexual underworld, a docu-manifesto for personal erotic freedom and social protest, and a modern-day retelling of a certain classic tragedy. I won't say which tragedy; that would ruin the fun. And now that it's available again to English-speaking audiences in a lustrous 4K remaster, you deserve to discover for yourself just how much this one-of-a-kind movie dares to do, and how completely it gets away with all of it.
If there is one feature-length animated production I never hesitate to recommend to those curious about how the medium can be a medium, it is Mind Game. If there is one feature-length animated production I never hesitate to recommend, period, it is Mind Game. It's the Joe Vs. The Volcano of animated films — a project with a devoted cult following and a philosophy of seizing life unrepentantly by the throat.