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Mad Fox, The

Japan (MIFF 2005, Uchida Tomu)

Director: Uchida Tomu

A colourful, wildly stylised fable, [The Mad Fox] is Uchida's most inventive film, and perhaps his most captivating. In Japan's capital city of Nara, more than 1000 years ago, Yasunori, the court astronomer, dies mysteriously. His apprentice, Yasuna, is next in line for this politically dangerous position, but is outmanoeuvred by his rival. Yasuna and his lover, Sakaki, are then arrested and tortured until Sakaki dies. Yasuna manages to escape, but is driven mad with grief. Years later, dishevelled and half mad, he prays that he be reunited with Sakaki's spirit, and his prayers appear answered when he immediately comes face to face with Sakaki's identical younger sister. Words cannot adequately describe the fantastical events that follow, incorporating, as they do, animation, vibrant kabuki and butoh scenes, colourist experiments, collapsing sets, animal masks, revolving stages and scroll compositions. Suffice to say, they tell a splendidly imaginative tale. "Just make sure to clear space on the floor for your jaw." - Rotterdam Film Festival
D Uchida Tomu P Okawa Hiroshi Tamaki Jun'ichiro S Yoda Yoshikata WS Toei Company Ltd L Japanese w/English subtitles TD 35mm/ col/1962/109mins

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