SUNDANCE 6 | THU NOV 8 | 2:00 PM
Screenwriter and Director: Eric Khoo
Editor: Taufik Ramadhan
Composer: Christopher Khoo, Christine Sham
Cast: Tetsuya Bessho, Yoshihiro Tatsumi
Running time: 98 min.
This animated telling of life and work of Japanese comic-book artist Yoshihiro Tatsumi, author of the internationally acclaimed graphic novel, A Drifting Life, interweaves adaptations of five of his manga stories with autobiographical
segments narrated by Tatsumi himself.
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, the world
famous animator Osamu Tezuka. Despite his steady success, Tatsumi is artistically dissatisfied with making comics for children with cute and whimsical tales and drawings. Eventually he re-invents the art of manga by launching an alternative genre for adults, which he coins gekiga (dramatic pictures). Realistic and disquieting, Tatsumi’s work begins to grapple with the darker aspects of life in the rapidly changing post-war Japan with stories that are perverse, shocking and darkly comical.
Tatsumi, shown in Japanese with English subtitles, was directed by one of Singapore’s most acclaimed directors, Eric Khoo, director of several live action features, including Mee Pok Man (1995) and Be With Me (2005). An official selection at Cannes, Tatsumi also won the Asian Film Award at the 2011 Tokyo International Film Festival. Maggie Lee of the Hollywood Reporter called the film a“ fascinating and ultimately moving tribute to a seminal comic artist’s dark, disquieting but powerful works…. Each story delivers a punch with a twist that is either full of pathos or bathos.”