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Excellence Award

Dozens of Norths

YAMAMURA Koji

Animated feature film [Japan]

This work is full of visual stimulation resulting from a fusion of three- and two-dimensional images. The method of using a wall surface as a backdrop for 2D animation is not necessarily novel. However, how it was synchronized with the fluid camerawork, which was probably produced with a hand-held camera, was very masterful. The liveliness maintained throughout the film, especially the movement of rotating motifs (the rotation of the camera itself and the laundry inside the washing machine), is impressive. It draws viewers into a dizzying visual experience. The miniature stage set and the furniture (mother = washing machine and father = refrigerator!) embody the boy’s perspective on his parents’ discord while bringing humor as if he is playing house. This is the artist’s debut film, and she produced everything except for the narration and sound design. It seems that she is preparing for a feature-length piece, and I am looking forward to seeing her creative works to come. (GONDO Shunji)

©︎ Yamamura Animation / Miyu Productions

Profile

YAMAMURA Koji

Japan

Born in 1964. Graduated from Tokyo Zokei University. Animation creator and picture-book author. Professor, Tokyo University of the Arts.

( 2017 )

Award Reason

This work originated from the series of illustrations the artist had drawn for the cover of the monthly magazine Bungaku-Kai, and was produced into an animated film by his own hand. The illustrations were drawn with the concept of conceiving a feature-length animation and drawing a scene from it, and animating the art was inevitable. The film begins with two dwarfs walking out carrying the narrator’s quill pen. They guide us through this work, which advances through the realm of the unconscious on behalf of the narrator. The realm of the unconscious is not portrayed as the narrator’s inner world, but as a place showing the state of the world through its fragments. The “fragments” depicted in this work are drawn so specifically that at first, they seem to be satirical, but they gradually become more abstract. And at the deepest level, it is revealed that the world is also connected to the narrator. The screen evokes a sense of desolation and disquiet, but at the same time, it has a humorous and nostalgic atmosphere. The grandness of the theme and the depth of this expression is something that could only be achieved in a feature animation. (FUJITSU Ryota)

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