Friday, September 02, 2005

Short ones

Subject: Noir
Tonight I decided to go with this week's GreenCine rentals. Both were pretty short, though, so I'll probably watch one more thing before I go to bed. In the mean time:

"Dead Leaves" -- Whilst casting my net a little further to try and find new stuff, I happened on the Production I.G. forum and a discussion about "experimental" anime. Now, that caught my interest big-time, because, after all, experimental animation is where I come from. And boy, howdy, was this an experiment!

Well, nothing like some of the strange oddities I cut my teeth on way back when, but it really was a whole lot different than any other show I've seen out of Japan. If anything, it seems like it could be, well, Canadian. No, really! There was some brilliant stuff coming out of the National Film Board back in the late 80's that I think this would have fit in with. Well, it would have stuck out like a sore thumb, but compared to the usual mainstream, it's more in the NFB universe than the mainstream.

"Dead Leaves" is totally zany. In a really violent, gross, raunchy, action-packed sort of way. It's way more western than Japanese in it's style, though more like the crazy underground indie animator "western" -- thus the NFB vibe. But that's not to say that it's void of Japanese-ness; plenty of that too. But it's way different. And short -- only about 45 minutes or so. But a lot is packed in there. It's quite a ride.

My word-association game came up with "uninhibited". Yeah. That's about right.

I took a bit of a break before watching the exact polar opposite of it: "Haibane Renmei" disc 2. Not an awful lot I can say about this that expands on my first review, except to say that I really like it. A few more layers are being revealed, and the puzzle gains more of a complexity. Yet it's still couched in a classic "slice-of-life" atmosphere. And the characters still have a great spark to them.

One thing that caught me about it though -- I got a very strong "Gunslinger Girl" vibe all of a sudden. I suppose if I watched it the other way around, I'd say "Gunslinger Girl" gave me a strong "Haibane Renmei" vibe. I mean, the two really aren't the same, but the young girls all coping with the situation they're in, well... it really is the same! At least, that's the vibe I'm getting. I wonder if there's a connection? Off to ANN to research it a little!

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