May 26, 2018
Known today for award-winning animations like "Inaka Isha" or "Atama Yama", Koji Yamamura proved his talent from his very first short film, "Suisei". A very immersive work of art from him because without noticing, it can transport you above and beneath the surface of a world made with only layers of clay and 'fragments' of light. The technique of claymation and the colors used are reminiscent of the brilliant Russian animator Yuriy Norshteyn, and because the form was not perfected (we could say at the time Mr. Yamamura lacked a style) the film has a "rough" beauty of a first work, but a beautiful work
The following are taken from an interview conducted by the BFI talking retrospectively to Mr. Yamamura about his works. Enjoy:
"This was my university graduation project, shot on 16mm. The film was inspired by M.C. Escher’s print Three Worlds, which depicts a large pool in autumn in which you can see a large fish under the surface, leaves floating on top and the reflections of trees, although you can’t see the trees themselves. In my film, a man looks at his reflection in a pond, then throws an apple into the water, breaking its surface, before beginning to imagine how he looks from the perspective of the fish beneath.
I often play with the idea of reflections in my films – how we only know ourselves from our own subjective positions, even when we’re looking in a mirror. We never really get a sense of how we look or act from an outside perspective. We only exist in our own minds. You can see this in the opening scene of Mt. Head, when we look at the main character for quite some time before we realise he is actually looking at himself in the mirror.
My other major inspiration was the Indian animator Ishu Patel’s film Afterlife (1978), made for the National Film Board (NFB) of Canada. He was a jury member for the first Hiroshima International Animation Film Festival in 1985. After seeing his films I really wanted to make my own experimental and artistic animations like this. "
Reviewer’s Rating: 7
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