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Japan, 2004 (MIFF 2006, Animation Gallery)

Director: Masaaki Yuasa

Shades of 60s New Wave experimentalism invade the anime genre in this stylish, surreal story of love, yakuza gangsters and life inside the belly of a whale.
Nishi, a struggling comic writer, meets up with his childhood crush, the voluptuous Myon, for whom he still nurses a timid obsession. When a soccer mad yakuza goes bananas in Myon's family's cafe, Nishi is propelled - via a psychedelic brush with death - into a kinetic car chase, as he, Myon and her sister, Yan, flee the gangsters' wrath.
Things take a further turn for the surreal when their car careens off a bridge, only to be swallowed by a whale. Exploring the interior of the creature, the trio encounter a grizzled hermit living in the belly of this huge underwater mammal.
Featuring a psychedelic mishmash of animation styles, a surrealist aesthetic and a disdain for the conservative linear approach of conventional narrative, Mind Game provocatively teases at the boundaries of animation.

Contains scenes that may offend.

D/S Masaaki Yuasa P Tanaka Eiko Dist Madman L Japanese w/English subtitles TD video/2004/104mins

Mind Game (2004) is Masaaki Yuasa's feature film directing debut.

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