Wednesday 4th February 2015
I went to see a Japan Foundation touring event: It Only Happens in the Movies?: Short Peace at ICA gallery.
“Short Peace” is an anthology of 4 animated short films directed by different directors including renowned cartoonist and animator Katsuhiro Otomo. The theme of all four films is “Japan” and you will see Japan’s iconic landmark of Mt. Fuji in all of them.
Possessions (九十九) Director: Shuhei Morita
A traveller meets the spirits of abundant broken objects used by people.
Combustible (火要鎮) Director: Katsuhiro Otomo
A short love story of a fire fighter and a girl from a wealthy family. You will also see some historical elements of how the fire was put down in the ancient Japan.
Gambo Director: Hiroaki Ando
A giant white bear protects a girl from small village where all other girls are kidnapped by a red devil. Some very violent scenes.
A Farewell to Weapons (武器よさらば) Director: Hajime Katoki
A saga of men battling against almost-indestructible robots in apocalyptic Tokyo. A fast paced action packed film, which holds the tension until the very end.
It screening was followed by an interesting facts of Katsuhiro Otomo’s work and views of Japanese animations by Helen McCarthy.
Tuesday 3rd February 2015
I went to see Kentaro Kobayashi’s comedy performance “Mr Potsunen’s Peculiar Slice of Life” in Leicester Square Theatre.
Kentaro Kobayashi is a Japanese performer, comedian and artist. He has a comedy duo called “RAHMENS”.
His most famous work is the video series “The Japanese Tradition~日本の形~”.
“Mr Potsunen’s Peculiar Slice of Life” is Kobayashi’s performance piece I saw for the first time. It had the collections of all my favourite visual techniques and collaborations of live and projected visuals.
The performance didn’t have any dialogues, but had lots of Japanese reaction sounds such as “Nnn?” “Ahhh..”. This solo act was supported by a white puppet creature and the story followed Mr Potsunen’s whimsical imaginations.
There were many of his illustrations used in the video and those simple lined illustrations were very comical and pleasing to see.
I thoroughly enjoyed the show!