Saturday, October 3, 2009

Historic Anime Showing at the NFC

If you're a student of anime history and you'll be in Tokyo at the end of October, then you'll want to visit the National Film Center in The International Museum of Modern Art.

On October 30th, at 6 PM, (and again on Nov. 15, at 3 PM), there will be a 2-hour showing of historic anime (meaning that it's old and may not appeal to the run-of-the-mill anime fans). This is an "encore event"; a repeat of film screenings that had been popular in 2008. The animation films scheduled are:

Namakura Katana (The blunt sword), June 1917, 2 min.
Created by Kouichi Sumikazu. Kouichi was the third person in Japan to have an animated film released theatrically, and this may have been the fourth animated film in Japanese history (Hekoten Shimokawa, Japan's first animator, had 2 animated films come out, in Jan. and Feb. of 1917, followed by Seitaro Kitayama with his first in May, 1917.

Urashima-tarou, 1918, 2 min.
Created by Seitaro Kitayama. This is a short based on the Japanese version of Rip Van Winkle, about a man that rescues a turtle, is taken to an underwater kingdom as a reward, and after 3 days returns home to discover that 300 years had gone by,

漫画 瘤取り
Manga: Kobutori, 1929, 10 min.
Directed by Chuzo Aoji and Yasuji Murata, this is a short piece featuring two old men with large lumps ("kobu") on their faces, based on a famous folklore. The two old men face similar situations, but one is good-tempered while the other is evil, and both are rewarded as befits them. Murata is a master at paper cutout animation, and is also the inventor of the first Japanese motorized film camera.

Hi no Youjin (Beware of Fire), 1930, 13 min.
Directed by Chuzo Aoji.

Furudera no Obake Soudou (Ghost Problem in an Old Temple), 1936, 5 min.
Directed by Suzuki Hiromasa.

Kuma ni kuwarenu Otoko (The Bear Dodger), 1948, 9 min.
Directed by Noburo Ohfuji. Noburo is recognized as a master of paper cutout animation.

Kitsune to Kotori (The Fox and the Bird), 1948, 11 min.
Directed by Satoshi Morino and written by Masao Tsukino.

Garibaa Funtouki (Gulliver's Travel Chronicles), 1950, 9 min.
Directed by Tokio Kuroda and Shigeyuki Ozawa. To be honest, one of the kanji in the name of the film above doesn't match what's on the flier. I'm thinking that the flier has a typo.

Bakudatto Hime (Bagdad Princess) [Oldest version], 1950, 48 min.
Directed by Iwao Ashida, and written by Iwao Ashida and Toshiro Wakabayashi. The original was apparently released in 1948, but the 1950 version is the oldest existent.

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