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CASSHERN

Japan, 2004 (MIFF 2005, Sideshow:New Media)

Director: Kiriya Kazuaki

Kazuaki Kiriya is known in Japan for his music videos and fashion photography. His debut feature is the stylistically eclectic [Casshern], an apocalyptic sci-fi war flick inspired by a 1970s' anime TV series. This retro-futuristic film is arguably something of an allegory of WWII, and perhaps a cautionary tale for our own warmongering times. Following a 50-year battle between the Eastern Federation and its neighbour Europa, an industrial military force rules the Eurasian continent, its peoples brutalised by nuclear and bacterial assaults. Azumi, a genetic scientist, develops a new treatment for the ailing population, but a chemical accident gives rise to a new race of mutants, the 'neo-sapiens', who turn against humanity. "Kiriya opens up a stunning box of tricks in his feature debut to sketch his industrial totalitarian future. Inspired, for instance, by Oshii's Avalon, he uses ancient Germanic and Celtic myths, Nazi symbolism and biblical themes, Soviet visuals, clay and computer animation, and Celine-esque First World War in black & white. [Casshern] is a breathtaking and very inventive anti-war drama." - Rotterdam Film Festival
D Kazuaki Kiriya P Hayashida Yuji S Kazuaki Kiriya, Suga Shotaro, Sato Dai WS Shochiku Co. Ltd L Japanese w/English subtitles TD 35mm/col, B&W/2004/141mins Kazuaki Kiriya was born in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan, in 1968. [Casshern] (MIFF 05) is his first feature.

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