Monday, May 23, 2011

Mamoru Oshii - Angel's Egg (1985)

This film is a classic 80s "progressive anime" and nothing short of magical and mesmerizing. The project, a collaboration between popular artist Yoshitaka Amano and director Mamoru Oshii, is surreal with a thick dose of psychotomimetic minimalism and existential vibes. There's very little to the dialogue and plot, but it's not needed as the film's visual mechanisms are so powerful. The film centers around a young pseudonymous girl, who is the keeper of a mysterious egg. She spends her time collecting bottles and artifacts in a gothic, dead city until a strange and mysterious man, whose name also remains a mystery, arrives in the dark town one day riding a machine and wearing a cross-like sword on his back. The dynamic between the two characters is very ambiguous and thematic (maternal and paternal symbolism can be derived from the film on a number of levels, as well as creation and filicide to name a few) and is the main device of the narrative. Because of its subtleties and basals, this film is not for everyone, but it's worth checking out for it's dream-like visuals alone. But beyond that veneer lies a highly isolated, psychedelic look at religion and existentialism interspersed with science fiction and fantasy. Definitely one of my favorites.

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