Animated film (1995 Japan). Madhouse, Bandai Visual, Kōdansha. Directed by Koji Morimoto, Tensai Okamura, Katsuhiro Ōtomo, starring Tsutomu Isobe, Gara Takashima, Hideyuki Hori, Yū Hayashi. Screenplay by Satoshi Kon, Katsuhiro Ōtomo. 113 minutes. Colour.
A three-part anthology movie based on stories by the creator of Akira (1988), who here signs over the bulk of the work to his colleagues. The opening piece "Magnetic Rose", is heavily influenced by Andrei Tarkovsky's Solaris (1971), and features an AI in a derelict spacecraft, which exerts a strong magnetic and emotional pull on its surroundings by reconstructing the memories of a dead opera singer. The second piece, "Stink Bomb" is an extended chase sequence redolent of that which closes Ōtomo's earlier Rōjin Z, where a hapless courier is infected with a toxic Weapon that brings death to anyone who smells him. The final piece, "Cannon Fodder" is directed by Ōtomo himself, and depicts a dismal Dystopia in which downtrodden proles load and fire giant guns in a War with a forgotten rationale. The young protagonist is a boy so deprived of stimulation that even his dreams are derived from propaganda images. [JonC]
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