Saturday, March 22, 2008

"Red Princess Blues"

I'm a geek, but I have never been an anime geek, despite its collosal popularity amongst Americans over the last decade. A great deal of it to me is unwatchable with its over-the top characters, constant screaming and bizarre and meaningless plots. Take Gundam Wing and Dragonball Z for the most extreme cases of what I'm talking about.

I have enjoyed the format in its more dark and mature variations. The anime art style is perfect in this setting, and the large eyes of the more innocent characters often work in contrast with the squinty eyes of the unflinchingly evil characters. Metropolis, Cowboy Bebop, and the war classics Barefoot Gen and Grave of the Fireflies have served as masterpieces of the medium which took on death, destruction and violence.

Red Princess Blues, an upcoming film by director Alex Ferrari, adopts this darkness with precision, if the short prequel just released on the internet is any indication. The prequel is very reminiscent of the anime segment from Kill Bill that showed the bloody origins of Lucy Liu's character, Oren Ishii. The animation shows shots in stills, with the characters remaining mostly unmoved, with elements around like weapons and weather remaining animated. Because of the emphasis on dialogue that comes about as a result, it wouldn't make a bad radio drama. However, the absolutely beautiful animation, which mixes hand drawn elements with CGI, makes listening to it instead of watching it a tragedy.

3rd Annual Now Film Fest- Wk 23 Finalist- Red PRINCESS Blues


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