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Alive and kicking


A very peculiar anthology. It's not like many other anthologies, where the link between each short film is frail and negligible, and yet many of the shorts couldn't have been more different from each other. A wealth of directors were given a chance to add their entry, with quite a few international names on the roster too.

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The film is set up around the renku poetry of Basho. There's a little documentary that comes with the film that gives some insights into the how, why and what of this film, but basically each director was assigned a short poem, which then served as inspiration of the animation piece. Most of them are under 1 minute.

There's a huge range of styles on display and the overarching concept is pretty interesting, but too many shorts fell flat, and the impressive ones are few and far between. Someone like Isao Takahata stands out among the rest, but with only one minute on the clock, he too struggles to impress. Certainly worth a watch, but there's some untapped potential here.