TEKKONKINKREET Director, MICHAEL ARIAS, arrives at the MoMA theatre for the Sunday
April 29th, 2007 – premiere screening. that’s ASHER WEINTRAUB catching a ride through the streets of midtown Manhattan. Asher is the son of the TEKKONKINKREET screenwriter, ANTHONY WEINTRAUB.
Photo: Nancy Smith
. . a few new miscellaneous notes on the film.
1. apparently the film will have a limited engagement here in New York in mid-July.
2. the DVD was supposed to be coming out in the Fall, but apparently got moved forward to June.
3. when we threw a few questions at him, while taking the photo, Arias told us, that no NECKFACE wasn’t a conscious inspiration for the gangster clan caricatures – but he did say that – quote – . . . “NECKFACE . . is ALL over Japan.”
4. the movie artwork is inspired (in part) by UKIYE-O (18th C Japanese woodblock prints) – and Arias pointed out that the line drawing details in the film are done in brown ink, as opposed to black ink – and that, in turn, helps create the overall ‘tone’ of flatness – and sure enough in the 2nd viewing, we are able to catch the beautiful brown ink line work. we came away from the first viewing, actually thinking there was no shading in the film – but there is – watch out for it – it’s just so subtly done. so non-Western hemisphere. .
5. TEKKONKINKREET is true animation – over 80,000 cells were produced !
6. The remarkable sound design, an animated ‘sound’ experience in itself, was done by – MITCH OSIAS.
7. the background technique that was used is called “perspective mapping” as opposed to “multiplane camera work” – and its best described as parts or elements of the background come forward – like parts of a puzzle – that suddenly become individually empowered as 3D pieces. check out the “5 o’clock” squeeze play on the rooftops in the beginning of the film.
8. there’s also a few “hommages” in the movie, here’s just a few: – you can see a nod to DISNEY , DUMBO the ELEPHANT, . . . somehow there are a lot of animated elephants worked into this Japanese urban gangsta narrative; some of the mayhem is reminiscent of the really over-the-top scary scenes in BATMAN I, – & – I thought I saw a red & white graphic in the distance, a sign in the skyscape that was a “rhino” – ala MARC ECKO ?
. . . there’s even a funny take-off on the eaten apple “APPLE” logo – the ‘STOP’ or, is it a ‘PLANT’/RE-NEW’ sign ? . . . in fact, the cityscape graphics: including billboards, banners & signs that fly by continuously, are a total rush.
9. on the term – anime: MICHAEL ARIAS writes: ” ‘Anime’ is something of an artifical construct
outside of Japan. In Japan when we say ‘anime’ we mean simply ‘animation’. We might be specific and say ‘Disney anime’ or ‘Ghibli anime’ or ‘children’s anime’, but it’s a pretty general term and not specific to Japanese output . . . so by ‘anime’ do we really mean ‘Japanese animation’ (that is, ‘animation from Japan’)? . . . There’s such a great variety of animation coming from Japan it seems a disservice to try and group it all together.”