Friday, July 10, 2009

Random Notes (Dimension Bomb and Alive in Joberg)

Part of Studio 4C's Genius Party Anthology, Dimension Bomb is a neat 20-minute short directed by Koji Morimoto, who also directed the Magnetic Rose segment of Memories, among other things. Visually, this thing is absolutely fantastic, a feast for the eyes. The soundtrack, contributed by Juno Reactor, is awesome, too. Dimension Bomb also happens to be the only thing that Yoko Kanno has voice acted in. Honestly, story-wise, I didn't know what the hell as going on, though admittedly, I was too enamoured by the visuals and the soundtrack to bother trying to put anything together. There's some sort of thing going on between a boy and girl. The nonsensical dialog did little to shed light into the plot. I think the short would have been fine as simply a music video for the Juno Reactor soundtrack without any of the voice acting. Anyway, Dimension Bomb is well worth a quick watch.

On an entirely different non-Eastern, non-animated note, District 9, directed by Neill Blomkamp, is coming out on August 14th, 2009, and I am fucking jazzed for that. The trailer is loaded with sweetness and has me high on expectations. Look it up ASAP if you haven't seen it. I was surprised to find out that District 9 is an elaboration of an earlier short faux documentary from the same director called Alive in Joberg. Alive in Joberg is centered around the struggle of some alien refugees who have been confined to a ghetto in Johannesburg, South Africa, and how discrimination and segregation from humans have driven them to rise up. Check it out:


  1. Yeah, that short's pretty awesome and I've got high hopes for the full movie.

    The director is also apparently the guy who did a bunch of proof-of-concept shorts for the ill-fated Halo movie. They were quite fun and slick.

  2. There's also Yellow, an interesting short that guy did for adidas. This Neill Blomkamp guy is pretty skilled at his sci-fi niche.

  3. Yeah, I think he's got a "just enough grit to be almost actually realistic" vibe going on. There's probably some insightful analysis in there about the ubiquitous nature of video cameras/reality TV and how we're basically living in the future now already with our iPhones.

    Lots of room to play with there.

  4. We really should cover more of the Genius Party shorts. I still haven't gotten around to watching it, despite the names attached (Morimoto, Yuasa, Maeda...).

    District 9 trailer was a bit surprising when I saw it last month. Bit apprehensive about how they'll carry out the angle of racism, but I'm definitely interested in it.

  5. Absolutely. Studio 4C is easily my favorite animation studio, but I just haven't had a chance for the Genius Party movies.

    I need to go watch Mind Game again, too.

  6. My comment seems to have gotten lost but anyways....

    Dimension bomb definitely feels a lot like a lynch piece where the moods and feelings matter more than the narrative. Wanwa is also sort of like this, but it takes a really expressionistic approach to what's going on. And it just so happens that they're both visually amazing. Shinya Ohira, the director of Wanwa is just an amazing animator .

    But yeah, Masaaki Yuasa's piece from the first omnibus is probably my favorite. The pieces from Shinichiro Watanabe and the other dude who worked on Champloo as well were a lot of fun too, but almost too normal when compared to the other stuff that they shared screen time with. Still, I don't think the collection would be complete without pieces that can be considered excellent within normal anime conventions.