JAPANESE ANIMATION TRIPS (various directors). 60 minutes, party afterwards. At MOCCA (952 Queen West), Saturday (January 27). See Indie & Rep Film listings, page 75. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
The local film community is getting animated this weekend. LIFT (Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto) and the Pleasure Dome screen five bold Japanese animation shorts to raise funds for the first Roberto Award, named for LIFT's late executive director Roberto Ariganello.
If the two shorts available for pre-screening are any indication, it should be a wild party, and not just because a DJ is playing after the screenings.
The program takes its title from Nobuhiro Aihara's surreal six-minute short, Trip, a playful, erotic piece that features probing fingers, juicy orifices and libidinous bulbous creatures. It's all captured from hand-drawn images, resulting in a crazy acid trip of an experience.
More substantial is French, a packed 12-minute short by Hiratake Shinya that constructs and deconstructs a young Japanese boy's frightening journey through France using 6,000 woodblock prints. Shinya teases out his narrative, repeating his story and layering the images, cleverly splashing in the colours of the French flag.
The result is hypnotic, not just because of the increasingly nightmarish and hysterical imagery but also because of the layered soundtrack, which evokes gunshots, bits of overheard French and - if I'm not mistaken - the lyrical theme to Truffaut's The 400 Blows.
A trip, indeed.