Tales of the Street Corner (1962) [Short]

Japan (MIFF 1995 , Buried Treasures - Osamu Tezuka)
Director: Osamu Tezuka

Tezuka's work can loosely be divided into three distinct modes of production: his manga—where he could elaborate his ideas with total control, his TV series and manga derived features-which often transformed his manga ideas, and shorts designed for international film festivals-where he could artistically explore the animation medium and branch out from the otherwise primary prerogative to entertain. Tales Of A Street Corner was the first work in this third mode and as such is heavily based on the then established artistry of modernist illustrative animation from Eastern Europe. In fact Tales is a pastiche of many European styles and media with empha­sis on the bold poster designs which originated from Russia in the 20s. Of special note in this film is the accent on widescreen cinematic picto-rialism—a design principle not usually applicable to manga layouts. Often characterized as an anti-war statement Tales serves as an introduction to Tezuka's philosophy of life wherein good can come from bad, a reality from which the inno­cent are not spared. Interestingly Tezuka's idea for this film originated in his ideas for music and sound (each character has their own theme and instrument) and he closely monitored the pro­duction of the score which then allowed him to elaborate his storyboards.

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