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winter days

While on the subject of Raoul Servais (see previous post), an interesting project he participated in is 'Winter Days', an animated film based on a renku by Bashō and others. Renku are collaborative poems where poets would take turns contributing verses, responding to each other. Following this collaborative format, the film's 36 segments were animated by different directors from around the world, invited by the project's initiator, Kihachirō Kawamoto.

In a wild variety of styles, ranging from cell animation and stop-motion to computer animation, the film offers many different approaches to the question of how to render 17th century Japanese poetry on film. As this in-depth review concludes, the more traditional animation styles are better suited to this purpose: "'Handmade' films tend to have more texture and depth of emotion that are vital in the creation of poetic meaning."

Here's a shortlist of visually interesting episodes. (They're all online, so click around in YouTube's related list to find more gems.)

  • #8 by Raoul Servais
  • #11 by Yoichi Kotabe & Reiko Okuyama
  • #12 by Aleksandr Petrov
  • #24 by Reiko Yokosuka
  • #32 by Co Hoedeman
  • #33 by Jacques Drouin
  • #35 by Koji Yamamura
Recommended:

the old man and the sea

Watching Aleksandr Petrov 's stunningly beautiful animation of ' The Old Man and the Sea ' online undoubtedly can't begin to compare with seeing it on an Imax screen, for which the film was originally created. Anyway, as chances are prob… Read the full post »

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