NIPPON NIGHTS is monthly series of Japanese cinema bridging different genres, styles and generations.
Neon Tokyo : Anime World #2 – AKIRA
Thursday, August 21st
The 2nd program of the special series “Neon Tokyo” is “AKIRA”, Japanese animated action film directed by Katsuhiro Otomo.
“A fever-dream masterpiece” Village Voice
“A towering achievement of imagination” Time Out
Neo-Tokyo is about to E•X•P •L•O•D•E
Clandestine army activities threaten the war torn city of Neo-Tokyo when a mysterious being with powerful psychic abilities escapes his prison and inadvertently draws a violent motorcycle gang into a heinous web of experimentation. As a result, a biker with a twisted mind embarks on a path of war, seeking revenge against a society what once called him weak.
The film depicts a dystopian version of Tokyo in the year 2019, with cyberpunk tones. The plot focuses on teenage biker Tetsuo Shima and his psychic powers, and the leader of his biker gang, Shotaro Kaneda. Kaneda tries to prevent Tetsuo from releasing the imprisoned psychic Akira. While most of the character designs and settings were adapted from the original 2182-page manga epic, the restructured plot of the movie differs considerably from the print version, pruning much of the last half of the manga. It became a hugely popular cult film and is widely considered to be a landmark in Japanese animation. (Wikipedia)
Directed by Katsuhiro Otomo. Written by Katsuhiro Otomo and Izo Hashimoto.
Voices Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama, and Taro Ishida.
1988. Japan. 124min. Digital. Rating: R
Based on the graphic novel “Akira” by Katsuhiro Otomo. First published by “Young Magazine”, Kodansha Ltd.
©1988 Akira Committee. Licensed by FUNimation® Productions, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Endorsed by Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco /
Co-Presented by CAAM / Promotional Partner: btrax, Asian Art Museum, Cosplay San Francisco
Co-presented by Istituto Italiano di Cultura
“Beautifully made… a meditation on the transformative possibilities of a relationship.”
– Stephen Holden, New York Times
“[Bertolucci] is still a force to be reckoned with.”
– The Guardian
Bertolucci’s first Italian-language feature in 32 years follows Lorenzo, a quirky 14-year-old loner who has difficult relationships with his parents and peers. Lorenzo decides to take a break from it all by hiding out in his building’s neglected basement where for an entire week he will finally avoid all conflict and pressure to be a “normal” teenager. But an unexpected visit from Lorenzo’s older half-sister Olivia changes everything. A worldly 25-year-old beauty, her problematic and fragile state upsets Lorenzo’s total escape from reality, and their forced cohabitation in the basement’s confined space brings forth confrontation and old resentments, but also a need for affection and intimacy. A few emotional days and nights with his sister Olivia will inspire Lorenzo to see the world through new eyes. Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. Written by Niccolò Ammaniti, Umberto Contarello, Francesca Marciano and Bernardo, based on the novel “Io e Te,” by Mr. Ammaniti. Director of photography: Fabio Cianchetti. With Jacopo Olmo Antinori, Tea Falco, Sonia Bergamasco, Veronica Lazar, Tommaso Ragno and Pippo Delbono. Not Rated. In Italian, with English subtitles. Running time: 97 mins.