Film series showcases Japanese anime

By Arts at Emory | Emory Report | Sept. 9, 2015

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"Paprika," a film by Satoshi Kon, screens Oct. 14 as part of the Emory Cinematheque series. Photo courtesy Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan.

Emory Cinematheque presents a free series of animation and anime-inspired films from Japan this fall, beginning Sept. 16. Screenings take place on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. in White Hall 208 through Dec. 2.

Anime, a term derived from the abbreviation of the English word “animation,” is one of the most visible genres of contemporary media production in Japan and has surged in international popularity in recent years.

High profile theatrical anime releases often top Japan’s domestic box office, and have helped breathe new life into contemporary Japanese theatrical cinema, making it one of the few countries where domestic films routinely claim a larger share of the box office than Hollywood productions.

Anime is interesting “for the ways in which it crosses boundaries,” says series curator Ryan Cook, an assistant professor in Emory's Department of Film and Media Studies.

“The focus of the series is the theatrical anime feature,” he says, “but such a thing is of interest in part for how it blurs the lines between the feature film and the broader media environment of television and publishing.”

The Emory Cinematheque series opens this Wednesday with a 2001 anime adaptation of legendary animator Osamu Tezuka’s 1949 comic book "Metropolis," which also takes inspiration from the 1927 Fritz Lang classic of the same name.

The series aims to present a historical perspective on anime, as well as a survey of its important genres, themes and artists. Following "Metropolis," the series features 10 films by major filmmakers representing a variety of genres, from films by established masters Hayao Miyazaki ("Princess Mononoke" and "The Wind Rises") and Satoshi Kon ("Paprika"), to slice-of-life anime "K-ON!"

The series also features Tetsuya Nakashima’s satirical comedy "Kamikaze Girls," a live-action adaptation with anime characteristics.

Additionally, the Japan Foundation will sponsor a public talk by professor Alexander Zahlten of Harvard University on Nov. 9. Zahlten will speak about Mamoru Oshii’s film "Sky Crawlers," also featured in the series.

To respect the original films and preserve the color and texture of the Japanese language, all films will be presented in their original Japanese with English subtitles. Cook will introduce each film.

Emory Cinematheque is free and open to the public, and free popcorn will be served at each screening. Films will be shown in 35mm, DCP or the best available format. Titles in the series are subject to change. For more information, visit the Arts at Emory website, or contact Maureen Downs at 404-727-6761.