364 – Tokyo Godfathers (2003)

spacetime coordinates: 2000’s Tokyotokyo-godfathers-satoshi-konTokyo Godfathers (東京ゴッドファーザーズ Tōkyō Goddofāzāzu) is a 2003 Japanese anime comedy-drama film directed by Satoshi Kon loosely based on Peter B. Kyne‘s novel Three Godfathers.tokyo-godfathers posterOn Christmas Eve, three homeless people living on the streets of Tokyo find a newborn baby among the trash and set out to find its parents.

Themes

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0388473/

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360 – Nova Seed (2016)

Nova SeedNOVA SEED is a 2016  sci-fi fantasy adventure 2D animation.   a solo effort by  Nick DiLiberto, the film is the product of four years’ work and is comprised of 60,000 hand-drawn frames.  It is DiLiberto’s directorial debut feature.

Nova SEED is an action-packed, post-apocalyptic, Sci-fi adventure that follows a lion-man (a Neo-Animal Combatant or NAC) who must save the NOVA Seed, a mystic force of nature in the form of a girl, from Dr. Mindskull, an evil half-man bent on remaking the world in his image.

Nova SEED is written by Nick DiLiberto (who worked in the animation department for Asura’s Wrath, Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, Mass Effect) and Joe DiLiberto, and executive produced by Ricardo Curtis , Adele DiLiberto, John DiLiberto, Nick DiLiberto and Wes Lui . Music by Canadian musician, Stephen Verrall.

DiLiberto said, “I grew up with 2D animated shows like He-Man and Thunder Cats and I wanted to be a part of that, but as an adult I was disappointed that everything I saw and worked on was so slick and manufactured. I wanted to make something that made me feel like I did when I was a kid, and I was tired of waiting for Disney or DreamWorks to make it for me. So, I made it myself.” (read more)

About Gorgon Pictures: Gorgon Pictures Inc. is an Independent animation studio located in Fukuoka, Japan, established by Canadian filmmaker Nick DiLiberto, which is dedicated to creating fully 2D hand drawn animated films. With its first feature film NOVA SEED (2016), an award-winning Sci-fi adventure, Gorgon Pictures has become an inspiration to artists and filmmakers around the world and continues to push the envelope in its approach and techniques to the medium.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5569618/

345 – Pacific Rim (2013)

spacetime coordinates: 2020 – 2025 Alaska // Hong Kong // Manila // San Francisco // Pacific Ocean //  Tokyopacific_rim_coverPacific Rim is a 2013 American science fiction monster film directed by Guillermo del Toro and starring Charlie HunnamIdris ElbaRinko KikuchiCharlie DayBurn GormanRobert KazinskyMax Martini, and Ron Perlman. The screenplay was written by Travis Beacham and del Toro from a story by Beacham.Pacific-Rim-Quad-PosterPacificRim_DOM_RGB_3200x1600.inddThe film is set in the future, when Earth is at war with the Kaiju,  colossal sea monsters which have emerged from an interdimensional portal on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. To combat the monsters, humanity unites to create the Jaegers,  gigantic humanoid mechas each controlled by at least two pilots, whose minds are joined by a mental link. Focusing on the war’s later days, the story follows Raleigh Becket, a washed-up Jaeger pilot called out of retirement and teamed with rookie pilot Mako Mori as part of a last-ditch effort to defeat the Kaiju.

Knifehead, the first Kaiju to appear in the film, is a tribute to the plodding kaiju of 1960s Japanese films, and is intended to look almost like a man in a rubber suit; its head was inspired by that of a goblin shark. Leatherback, the bouncer-like Kaiju which spews electro-magnetic charges, is a favorite of del Toro, who conceived it as a “brawler with this sort of beer belly”; the lumbering movements of gorillas were used as a reference.  The Kaiju Otachi homages the dragons of Chinese mythology. The director called it a “Swiss army knife of a Kaiju”; with almost 20 minutes of screen time, it was given numerous features so the audience would not tire of it. The creature moves like a Komodo dragon in water, sports multiple jaws and an acid-filled neck sack, and unfurls wings when necessary. It is also more intelligent than the other Kaiju, employing eagle-inspired strategies against the Jaegers.  Onibaba, the Kaiju that orphans Mako Mori, resembles a fusion of a Japanese temple and a crustacean. Slattern, the largest Kaiju, is distinguished by its extremely long neck and “half-horn, half-crown” head, which del Toro considered both demonic and majestic. 

Gipsy Danger, the American Jaeger, was based on the shape of New York City’s Art Deco buildings, such as the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building, but infused with John Wayne‘s gunslinger gait and hip movements. Cherno Alpha, the Russian Jaeger, was based on the shape and paint patterns of a T-series Russian tank, combined with a giant containment silo to give the appearance of a walking nuclear power plant with a cooling tower on its head. Crimson Typhoon, the three-armed Chinese Jaeger, is piloted by triplets and resembles a “medieval little warrior”; its texture evokes Chinese lacquered wood with golden edges. Striker Eureka, the Australian Jaeger, is likened by del Toro to a Land Rover; the most elegant and masculine Jaeger, it has a jutting chest, a camouflage paint scheme recalling the Australian outback, and the bravado of its pilots.

Rather than popular culture, the director drew inspiration from works of art such as The Colossus and George Bellows‘s boxing paintings.

The classic Japanese woodblock print  The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai was a common motif in the ocean battles; Del Toro recalled, “I would say ‘Give me a Hokusai wave’… we use the waves and weather in the movie very operatically.”  The director asked that Knoll not necessarily match the lighting from shot to shot: “It’s pretty unorthodox to do that, but I think the results are really beautiful and very artistically free and powerful, not something you would associate with a big sci-fi action movie.” Del Toro considers the film’s digital water its most exciting visual effect: “The water dynamics in this movie are technically beautiful, but also artistically incredibly expressive. We agreed on making the water become almost another character. We would time the water very precisely. I’d say ‘Get out of the wave [on this frame].'”

The_Great_Wave_off_Kanagawa

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_Rim_(film)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1663662/

Pacific_rim_poster

 

329 – Contact (1997)

spacetime coordinates: 1990s New Mexico // Florida //  Puerto Rico // Washington, D.C. // Wisconsin // Hokkaido

contact posterContact is a 1997 American science fiction drama film directed by Robert Zemeckis. It is a film adaptation of Carl Sagan‘s 1985 novel of the same name; Sagan and his wife Ann Druyan wrote the story outline for the film.37696-1920x1200contact 1Jodie Foster portrays the film’s protagonist, Dr. Eleanor “Ellie” Arroway, a SETI scientist who finds strong evidence of extraterrestrial life and is chosen to make first contact.

imdb        wiki

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What Happens If China Makes First Contact?

As America has turned away from searching for extraterrestrial intelligence, China has built the world’s largest radio dish for precisely that purpose. (read more)

“No civilization should ever announce its presence to the cosmos. Any other civilization that learns of its existence will perceive it as a threat to expand—as all civilizations do, eliminating their competitors until they encounter one with superior technology and are themselves eliminated. This grim cosmic outlook is called “dark-forest theory,” because it conceives of every civilization in the universe as a hunter hiding in a moonless woodland, listening for the first rustlings of a rival.”

231 – Papurika (2006)

paprika

Paprika (Japanese: パプリカ Hepburn: Papurika) is a 2006 Japanese science-fiction anime film co-written and directed by Satoshi Kon, based on Yasutaka Tsutsui‘s 1993 novel of the same name, about a research psychologist who uses a device that permits therapists to help patients by entering their dreams. It is Kon’s fourth and final feature film before his death in 2010.

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Screenshot (193)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0851578/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paprika_(2006_film)

229 – Tekkon kinkurîto // Tekkonkinkreet (2006)

spacetime coordinates:  the streets of the pan-Asian metropolis of Takaramachi (Treasure Town) 90’s // 2000’s

Tekkonkinkreet poster 1

Tekkonkinkreet (鉄コン筋クリート Tekkonkinkurīto, a child’s mispronunciation of “Tekkin Konkurito” [steel reinforced concrete]) is a 2006 Japanese anime directed by Michael Arias and animated by Studio 4°C  based on the three-volume seinen manga series of the same name by Taiyō Matsumoto, which was originally serialized from 1993 to 1994 in Shogakukan‘s Big Comic Spirits and first published in English as Tekkonkinkreet: Black & White.

Takaramachi

The story takes place in the fictional city of Takaramachi (Treasure Town) and centers on a pair of orphaned street kids – the tough, canny Kuro (Black) and the childish, innocent Shiro (White), together known as the Cats – as they deal with yakuza attempting to take over Treasure Town.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0831888/

166 – Ghost in the Shell (2017)

spacetime coordinates: Hong Kong-inspired near future

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based on the Japanese manga of the same name by Masamune Shirow.  Set in a near future when the line between humans and robots is blurring, the plot follows the Major (Scarlett Johansson), a cyborg super soldier who yearns to learn her past.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_in_the_Shell_(2017_film)#Casting_criticism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyberpunk_derivatives#Postcyberpunk

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1219827/