Archive for the ‘animation’ Category

your name

30Mar17

It might seem a bit facetious to link Your Name (君の名は), the Japanese animated sensation of 2016, with the trauma and mourning of a documentary like Trace of Breath. Your Name, which I’m going to refer to as Kimi no Na wa from this point on (because it simply feels more natural) is a kind […]


I’ve got no idea why the lettuce I buy comes wrapped in plastic adorned with the image of Rantarō Ninja Boy, the star of the anime Nintama Rantarō (忍たま乱太郎). To tell the truth, I initially mistook him for a very healthy country aunty wearing traditionally patterned monpe (もんぺ), the old-style workpants of Japan.


Kunio Kato’s beautiful and melancholic Academy Award winning animated short, Tsumiki no Ie (つみきのいえ) — The House of Small Cubes — is a film infused with the sadness of disappearing time.  The source of melancholy seems obvious at first: it’s the classic melancholy of old age in which the gradual erasure of the world one […]


The epic novel Nansō Satomi Hakkenden was written by Kyokutei Bakin in the 1800s and is 106 volumes long.  Sometimes known in English as The Tale of Eight Dogs, it tells the story of eight samurai half-brothers who are all descended from the same dog and, consequently, all have the character for ‘dog’ in their […]


I don’t know much about Jake Fried, but his meticulously detailed animations of anarchic fever dreams, which lie somewhere on the border between the mystical aesthetics of an as yet undiscovered ancient civilization and the peyote-powered bubblegum drippings of a Brooklyn subway lunatic, are deliriously compelling. His animation reminds me of the artwork of that […]


In his book Cognitive Variations, G.E.R. Lloyd discusses the Russian word toska, a word that denotes the feeling that one gets when “one wants some things to happen and knows they can’t happen.”  It’s like a kind of nostalgia for a future that one already knows will never come to pass.  This strikes me as […]


I’ve got to give special thanks to my friend Jesse Garcia for turning me on to two (possibly three) of these videos, including the incredible Story from North America, a collaboration between Kirsten Lepore (animation) and Garrett Davis (animation and music).  What I love most about Story from North America is the way that it […]