Aki isn’t a brave little boy, but he’s dedicated nonetheless to safeguarding his sickly, mute friend Fuyu. They and their little gang live deep underground, in the concrete warrens to which survivors have fled following the eruption of Mt. Fuji. The community is in decline, however, as illness and despair take their toll. Fuyu dreams of the outside world, which he is too frail to ever reach. But what colour is the sky out there? The second film in the Gasoline Mask project of maverick Shibuya-based animators Kamikaze Douga, COCOLORS showcases their signature skill with cel-shaded 3D CG. The film’s meticulous evocation of its grim and cluttered world owes a deliberate aesthetic debt to printmaking, a principle echoed in COCOLORS’ story. A distinctive work of high-standard animation, COCOLORS is a convincing expression of ecological truths and consequences.
2017Among the few to survive the great cataclysm, a young jet-fighter pilot bombs the monsters overrunning the devastated mainland. Steered off course by a radioactive cloud, he discovers an undamaged island populated by what look like people… The latest from animator Park Hyemi, whose debut feature CRIMSON WHALE was a surprise hit at Fantasia 2015.
VALLEY OF WHITE BIRDS
A stern young mage strides into an abandoned forest village. Is he the hunter, the hunted, or a haunted man? A rich and satisfying little marvel of animated fantasy, from Chinese indie hotshots Wolf Smoke Studio.
VALLEY OF WHITE BIRDS is told without dialogue and little guidance. The audience is thrown into this beautiful world and expected to draw our own conclusions about what we witness. While I have a feeling the filmmakers have a clear vision, they have enough faith in the viewer to allow for interpretation.