Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Exquisite Short Films of Kihachiro Kawamoto |
Director: Kihachiro Kawamoto
Genres: Indie & Art House, Classics, Animation
Kimstim and Kino are proud to present this collection of short films from one of the world s greatest stop-motion animators: Kihachiro Kawamoto. Famous for his beautiful, expressive puppets, Kawamoto began his career in th... more »
Elegant, mysterious stop animation
wiredweird | Earth, or somewhere nearby | 10/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These seven short features present an enchanting range of techniques, visual styles, and stories. All of them feature some amount of stop animation. Kawamoto creates an unusual combination, however, by placing his 3D puppets against 2D backgrounds. This gives the feel of a stage play, with live actors amid flat, painted scenery elements. Kawamoto reinforces that sense of theater in the puppets he creates. Some have faces like Noh masks, others resemble elaborate Kabuki makeup. And, many times, the puppets move in stylized ways that draw on Japan's rich tradition of theater.
The two last features, "Dojoji Temple" and "House of Flame" also have the feel of traditional storytelling. I don't know whether they actually retell familiar stories, or create new ones in the old style. No matter, the dragons, temple bells, and ghosts all draw on tales likely to be as familiar to Japanese viewers as they are unfamiliar to Westerners. Other stories, including "Anthropo-cynical Farce," "The Trip," and "The Poet's Life" present decidedly modern themes and stories, enriched by the Kawamoto's traditional elements. That combining of new and old comes to life in "The Trip's" Escher-like landscapes, and in the Poet's haunted sweater in a setting of Atomic-age tragedy.
These gorgeous short animations might baffle a Western eye - I know I had to just let go and follow along with some of the cultural references. These will please, too, as much for their unique stories and storytelling as for the loving craftsmanship shown in every detail. Kids might not have the patience for it, but I recommend this to every grown-up who enjoys animation.