Made in 1994, the sketch film “Memories”, which brings together three short Japanese animation films, is to be discovered in theaters. Three exciting and visually impressive works.
Memories At the movie theater
Author of the famous AkiraKatsuhiro Ōtomo imagines in the early 1990s the omnibus (sketch film) Memories. A rich work that includes three short films: Magnetic Pink by Koji Morimoto, Stink Bomb by Tensai Okamura and Cannon Fodder that he realizes. Three very different stories but which offer a varied and exciting proposal in terms of Japanese animation.
And if until now it had been necessary to be satisfied with a DVD released in 2004, we can only rejoice in the highlighting by Eurozoom of Memories in French theaters, starting August 24. Especially since each proposal manages to stand out from one another, both in terms of its narrative and visually.
The melancholy space of Magnetic Pink
First there is the strange and disturbing universe of Magnetic Pink, which sees a rescue team travel to a spaceship and get lost in ghostly visions. This first film, scripted by the immense Satoshi Konalready carries within him the style of the director of Perfect Blue (1997) and Paprika (2006). We inevitably think of these two works in front of the short film where dream and reality merge. Difficult to detect the true from the false thanks to the masterful artistic direction offered by Satoshi Kon.
A certain terrifying melancholy then sets in, while the two rescuers sink into a cemetery of opera-like memories. Of the three films that make up Memories, Magnetic Pink is perhaps the most fascinating, also referring to the Solaris by Tarkovsky and offering a staging of real richness.
A deadly smell in the quirky Stink Bomb
In the second short film, Stink Bombscripted this time by Katsuhiro Ōtomo, slapstick comedy prevails over a most dramatic narrative. In a lab, Nobuo decides to take an experimental drug to cure his cold. After a nap, he wakes up in his office and discovers that all his colleagues are dead. not being aware that he is become a bacteriological weapon and that he now gives off a deadly odor, he will travel the country to hand over secret documents to his employers, provoking at the same time a real cataclysm.
Even though the animation of Stink Bomb may seem “more classic”, it is nonetheless dynamic. Because while he continues to advance, Nobuo will have to be stopped by the army, which will not hesitate to send him above all an arsenal causing explosions in shambles from which he will always come out unscathed. The humorous tone then contrasts with the situation, which does not prevent a critical message about the army and its total inefficiency, but also on the dedication of the employees that instills japanese society.
The absurdity of war with Cannon Fodder
Finally, the third segment which composes Memories, Cannon Foddertake us in the heart of a fortified city at war. Every day, the same mechanic is set up to fire a huge cannon in the direction of an invisible enemy. Children, women and men work in a collective effort to manufacture ammunition. Katsuhiro Ōtomo, who directs and scripts the work, proposes for this an impressive twenty-two minute sequence shot.
With a fixed background combined with a variety of animation (zooms, pans, tracking shots, etc.), the film presents a huge absurd and corrosive factory in a virtuosic way. However, the author manages to maintain in his work a certain lightness, without falling into the burlesque like Stink Bombplacing himself partly at the height of a child.