Based on an ancient legend, Dojoji Temple tells the story of a young priest who finds himself the object of intense infatuation and lust from a young woman. As he rebuffs her advances she becomes more and more desperate eventually turning herself into a gigantic serpent. The priest is hidden under the bell of the temple but the woman's passion is so intense that escape is impossible.
A short animation from filmmaker Kihachiro Kawamoto. This film utilizes both stop motion and standard animation techniques.
This film is both interesting and not. It's almost like an art piece, a retelling of an old legend. You know exactly what you're getting, and yet, if you approach it with and open mind, I don;t think watching it is a waste of your time.
Story: It's quite simple- love drives people crazy, and ends in suffering - rather appropriate for the religious- Buddhist, focus in this film. You know what you're getting right off the bat, and the character's don't really get development. They're just there as pieces within the simple story. However, the people behind this must be commended for being able to
communicate the whole story quite clearly without use of words, smooth animation, or even sound effects throughout most of the film. The story was interesting enough that it just barely kept my attention. The direction, at least was solid, but due to the extremely simple premise, I give it a 6/10- fair. Solid, but nothing special.
Art: The execution of this piece is what really interested me. The stop motion was smooth, and plastic/clay figures meshed surprisingly well with the watercolor backgrounds- it wasn't that good, but it didn't really clash like you'd expect it too. The makers of this pulled off a wide range of characters and faces, and did quite a bit with so little. The animation used some creative techniques for it's time (40 years ago) - characters blinked, moved- range of motion wasn't really impeded by the dated style. Because of the slower animation pace, it was interesting to see directing techniques- zooming in and out, panning, cuts, and so on. 7 out of 10
Sound: There's not much to say about it. There aren't really any sound effects, save for wind noises. The entire track is either silence, or traditional Japanese elevator music (shamisan and taiko drums). That being said, the music and sound DIRECTION is surprisingly good. It raises tension when it needs too, and does it's job. It was kinda surreal, really. 7 out of 10.
Charactesr: There's no development whatsoever really, save for the woman, a little bit. The animators do a good enough job and making characters communicate feelings,and you don't need dialogue to understand them, but all the characters are about as dynamic as the color gray. 3/10
Enjoyment: Overall, it was ok. Perhaps not the best use of 18 minutes and 52 seconds, but certainly not the worst. If you have time to kill, go for it. At very worst, you can use it to put yourself to sleep.