5.9/10
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1 user 1 critic

Anthropo-Cynical Farce (1970)

Kenju giga (original title)
Not Rated | | Animation, Short | 1970 (Japan)
Dog racing is used as a metaphor for the futility of human existence.

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Dog racing is used as a metaphor for the futility of human existence.

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Animation | Short

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Not Rated
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1970 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Anthropo-Cynical Farce  »

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Wow, this made my brain hurt
22 October 2008 | by See all my reviews

I think it's hard for Westerners to rate this film as well as the rest of Kawamoto's films. That's because they are generally based very heavily upon traditional Japanese stories and Shinto ideas that simply are tough to comprehend for outsiders. While I have watched more Japanese films that 99.9% of the Westerners out there, I still felt very much like a confused outsider watching these shorts. Because of this, I often could enjoy the beautiful artistry of the films but the stories often left me flat. I really would love to see some reviews by Japanese reviewers--they probably could do the films more justice than I could.

Now this film is unique because it combines the Kawamoto style with an odd French surrealism. His other stories are usually based on Japanese fables but this one is very, very strange and hard to explain. It seemed very much like a melding of Kawamoto, Terry Gilliam's cartoons, Dali and perhaps Hieronymous Bosch!! I'm not kidding when I say that it is more like an art exhibit at a fringe museum than an animated short. Plus, instead of using the traditional dolls for the stop-motion, Kawamoto uses odd cut outs and garish images that defy description.

See it yourself--let me know what you think. It was pretty, but too weird and too dark for me to enjoy it or highly recommend it. Mostly of interest to lovers of the strange.


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