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A TREE OF PALME

Japan, 2001 (MIFF 2002, Animation Gallery)

Director: Takashi Nakamura

A new animated feature by Nakamura Takashi, chief animation director of Japanime classic Akira (1988). At the base of a huge tree, Fow, an ancient botanist, lives in a hut with a malfunctioning wooden robot named Palme. A wounded warrior arrives at the secluded outpost just ahead of her marauding pursuers, she passes a capsule to Palme and makes him vow to deliver it to Tamas, a world deep underground.

Like the Pinocchio myth dragged screaming into a mythical, surreal future, A Tree of Palme explores the meaning of humanity. On his perilous journey, Palme encounters people a lot less mechanical but a lot more soulless than himself. Alarmed by the transience of existence the faithful robot weathers a succession of trials and battles to fulfil his quest.

Screening at both Berlin and Hong Kong Film Festivals, A Tree of Palme combines differing animation techniques in its creation of a fantasy future. Mind blowing 3D backgrounds are melded with more traditional 2-D character design in a world that is equal parts Tolkein and Dante's Hell. Includes a highly unusual soundtrack by Harada Takashi, Japan's sole professional player of the esoteric Martenot electronic keyboard.

Nakamura Takashi (born in Yamaguchi, 1955) became involved in animation in 1972 working on a number of TV series. Since then he has worked as an animator and character designer on numerous films, including Armageddon: The Great Battle with Genma (1983) and Warriors of the Wind (1984). This is Nakamura's second film as director following Catnapped! (1995).

See also...

MY BEAUTIFUL GIRL, MARI

South Korea, 2002
South Korean animator Lee Sung-Gang's feature debut (which recenty won the Grand Prix for Best Animated Feature at the prestigious Annecy Animation Festival) is a highly original cinematic fantasy. I… More »

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