I had a wicked time screening my Dark Dreams in Plastercine programme of some rather gruesome British stop-motion animation to a suitably cowering crowd at the Barbican last year as part of their Animate the World festival, so was delighted to be asked back for this year’s event, running 22-27 May, with another programme of rare delights. I plumped for some early anime this time round, thanks to those kind folks at Zakka Films, so will be giving a talk on the early years of the industry, with a couple of films screened on the way, climaxing in a rare UK airing of that legendary piece of war propaganda from 1942, Momotaro’s Sea Eagle. I’ll also be introducing the paper cut-out animations of Noburo Ofuji and some other rare treats, such as Yoshitaro Kataoka’s wonderful Danemon Ban: The Monster Exterminator (1935). I’m really looking forward to it!
There’s plenty of other goodies during the week too. Helen McCarthy will be there to introduce a Japanimation double bill of Summer Wars and Dante’s Inferno the day before, on the 25 May, to carry on the Japanese theme. Outside of the Japanese stuff though, there’s a special focus on Czech animator Karel Zeman with screenings of his Invention for Destruction (1958) and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1961), a chance to catch Piaxar’s UP in 3D again, if you missed it first time round, and a host of other interesting-looking shorts and features. Move over Mickey!
What with the upcoming screening of Wakamatsu Pro’s The Red Army / PFLP: Declaration of World War as part of the London Palestinian Film Festival on 4 May, and Ladislas Starewitch’s bewildering piece of dead insect-animation The Cameraman’s Revenge (1912) as part of the ongoing Silent Film & Live Music series on 9 May (you’ve got a real treat in store if you’ve never seen this – it’s unbelievable!), it’s a good reminder to check out the Barbican’s programme a lot more often – the tickets are pretty reasonable if you’re a member, and they show some truly amazing stuff.
Anyway, here are some more details about my special night from the Barbican Website:
The Origins of Anime (12A)
Cinema 1, 26 May 2010, 18.30.
Japanese film specialist Jasper Sharp explores the origins of anime, with an exclusive selection of influential pre-war animations.
Tickets: Standard £7.50 online (£9.50 full price); Barbican Members £6.50 online (£7.50 full price); Concessions £7.50.