Previously at the ICA - Films
11 Dec 2011
Eric Khoo (Be With Me, Mee Pok Man) directs his best film to date, a gorgeous grown-up animated love letter to Manga legend Tatsumi Yoshihiro. Khoo has adapted Tatsumi's autobiography A Drifting Life, closely collaborating with the author who provides his own voice-over, and intercuts him with a series of beautifully animated, perfectly formed short stories from Tatsumi's hugely influential and ground-breaking work. Each of the five short stories are realised in a different style reflecting Tatsumi's own evolution as a world-class artist. Starting out as a young boy revering Tezuka (the Japanese Walt Disney who created Astro Boy), Tatsumi quickly grew frustrated by the manga conventions of the day and their cutesy childish story-telling. He transforming the genre and coined his own term, 'gegika', to differentiate his new work, aimed at an adult audience which quickly embraced his visions of a post-war Japan in social flux.
Tatsumi himself is hugely proud of Khoo's film and the director's lifelong passion for his subject's work shows in every frame. Immaculate, thought-provoking and a world away from the teen-Manga or anime worlds of tentacled monsters and hyper-kinetic cutting, Tatsumi brims over with humanism providing a moving insight into a Japan seeing itself going through seismic changes in the latter half of the 20th century. A flawless masterpiece.
Dir: Eric Khoo, 2011, Singapore/Japan, Japanese with English subtitles, 15 cert, 96mins
Voice cast: Bessho tetsuya, Tatsumi Yoshihiro