Tuesday, May 06, 2008

SciFi London Update

Great films, weird films, and films you'd never get to see anywhere else - for me, the highlight was seeing Wizard of Oz on the big screen! And apparently I still have no trouble staying up all night, especially when watching films is involved...

Some recommendations:

Dragon Hunters is really good - it's French, 3-D modelled animation, but the plot and characters are like something from Studio Ghibli. I loved everything about this film, but especially the part where, instead of putting in jokes for the adults in the audience, they'd put in something kids would laugh at where you'd expect the adult joke - for me, this made it even funnier. My inner ten-year-old is never that far from the surface, though!

If you liked Shaun of the Dead, then Wasting Away is even funnier, and the first film to show what it's like being a zombie from the zombie's point of view. It's a new genre - Zombie Comedy Romance. Is that ZomRomCom? To go along with that, there's Netherbeast, which is VampRomCom, with a touch of The Office. Recommended as a double feature!

Also hilarious was Dai Nipponjin, not likely to be coming to a theatre near you, but you never know - it's a Japanese fake documentary about "Big Man Japan", a monster-fighting superhero who can grow to Godzilla-size with the application of electricity - except he's not very popular (due to all the incidental property damage, and not being a very good fighter, and so on) and kind of a loser, and he's got this interviewer with a camera following him around. It's the weirdest Japanese film I've ever seen, and believe me, that's weird. See it if you can, but brace for weirdness!

On the anime front, I missed the new Appleseed (kind of on purpose, since I really love the old traditionally-drawn version). Girl Who Leaped Through Time is what I think of as traditional, but a good story - the sort of thing I'd get the DVD of for my just-gone-teenage nieces. Tekkon Kinkreet I had to miss half of due to desk duty, which means I'll have to get the DVD myself when it comes out to see how it ends, though I think I would anyway. It was a bit of a strange choice for the third film of an all-nighter, since it's very slow-moving, and the story is convoluted, but the artwork is interesting and sometimes beautiful, and really, I can't wait to see it all the way through. Vexille is gorgeous, with the most doom-laden (for Japan, anyway) plot I've yet encountered, in the tradition of doomed-Japan storylines. And it has sand-worms made of junk. What more could you want?

And to complete my screening list: La Antena is atmospheric and strange, though not what I was expecting from the billing, which was Metropolis-meets-Tim-Burton; for me it was more a collision of early fantasy, like Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast, Surrealist films like Le Chien Andalou, and film noir. Chrysalis was also not what I expected - the trailer, screened with an earlier film, made it look more like Hollywood's interpretation of Philip K. Dick, whereas it's actually a French future-noir.

There were also some most excellent shorts screened - they show one for every film, which I really like. One of these was a surprise screening of a Joker-altered Dark Knight trailer, and all I can say is I can't wait!