With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Friday, March 16, 2012

ACF 1384: U.S. Premiere of TATSUMI opens 5th ContemporAsian season at Museum of Modern Art

Images courtesy of The Match Factory.
Directed by Eric Khoo
Singapore, 2011,  94 minutes
With the voice of Yoshihiro Tatsumi 
In Japanese with English subtitles
When: April 4–9, 2012
Where: The Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53rd Street, NYC
Info and tickets here

ContemporAsian, MoMA’s annual showcase of Asian cinema, features weeklong engagements of films that capture the various styles, histories, and changes in contemporary Asian filmmaking. This series includes recent independent gems by both new and established filmmakers whose work represent the rapidly transforming visual culture of the region. The fifth season of ContemporAsian opens with the U.S. premiere of Tatsumi, a riveting animated documentary about the life and art of celebrated graphic novelist Yoshihiro Tatsumi.

A Drifting Life, Tatsumi’s epic graphic novel memoir, forms the foundation for Khoo’s animated documentary. In postwar Japan in the late 1950s, Tatsumi brought innovation to Japanese comics through works of social commentary aimed at an adult audience. Khoo, known in his native Singapore for such live-action films as Be with Me (2005) and My Magic (2008), brings Tatsumi’s art to life by juxtaposing Tatsumi’s autobiography with his short stories that focus on the effects of World War II and urban alienation on the Japanese people. This first-ever film adaptation of Tatsumi’s work adds depth and structure to his various narratives while remaining loyal to his vivid style. Print courtesy The Match Factory.

Synopsis: In post-war occupied Japan, young Tatsumi’s passion for comics eventually becomes a means of supporting his poor family. Already published as a teenager, talented Tatsumi finds even greater inspiration after meeting his idol, famous Disneyesque animator Osamu Tezuka. Despite his steady success, Tatsumi begins to question why Japanese comics should cater to children with cute and whimsical tales and drawings. In 1957, Tatsumi coins the term gekiga (dramatic pictures) and redefines the manga landscape by encouraging an alternative genre for adults. Realistic and disquieting, Tatsumi’s work begins to grapple with the darker aspects of life.

This exhibition is organized by Jytte Jensen, Curator, and Jenny He, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Film.

Screening Schedule:
Wednesday, April 4, 7:00. (New York premiere. Introduced by Khoo and Tatsumi)
Thursday, April 5, 4:00
Friday, April 6, 7:00
Saturday, April 7, 1:30
Sunday, April 8, 5:00
Monday, April 9, 4:00

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