Silent Running - IN TRIBUTE TO MAVERICK ACTOR BRUCE DERN!
Mar 9 to Mar 11
Sunday to Tuesday 4:15, 8:30
Dir. Douglas Trumbull - 1972 - 90m - DOUBLE FEATURED WITH SMILE
Three years after helping to achieve some of the most amazing imagery in cinema history with 2001: A Space Odyssey, special effects maestro Douglas Trumbull made an auspicious directorial debut at age 29 with the environmentally themed science fiction classic Silent Running. In the distant future, plant life on our planet is extinct. Remaining specimens are cultivated in vast greenhouse-like domes orbiting in space. Bruce Dern stars as Freeman Lowell, dedicated botanist aboard the "Valley Forge", awaiting the call to refoliate Earth - despite the scorn of his crewmates. When an order comes to instead destroy the domes and return home, Lowell takes matters into his own hands, beginning a long and lonely voyage into the unknown. With its remarkable special effects (especially the robot drones Huey, Dewey, and Louie); glorious score (including songs performed by Joan Baez); memorable sound effects (created by Joseph Byrd from the cult band The United States of America); a screenplay co-written by Michael Cimino (The Deer Hunter) and Steven Bochco (Hill Street Blues), and an impassioned central performance from Dern, Silent Running remains a uniquely contemplative and haunting adventure that continues to make hippies of young children, even today.
Smile - IN TRIBUTE TO MAVERICK ACTOR BRUCE DERN!
Mar 9 to Mar 11
Sunday to Tuesday 6:15pm ONLY!
Dir. Michael Ritchie - 1975 - 113m - DOUBLE FEATURED WITH SILENT RUNNING!
A small-town beauty pageant, and the turmoil it causes in the lives of its participants and sponsors, is the focus of this dark and witty cult comedy from Michael Ritchie (The Bad News Bears, Fletch). Bruce Dern shines in a rare comic lead as the chief judge of the "Young American Miss" contest, and his ability to find humor and pathos in his sad-sack character is well-matched by Barbara Feldon as a glacial former contestant, Geoffrey Lewis as a densely heartless sponsor, and famed choreographer Michael Kidd as (what else) the disillusioned pageant choreographer. Ritchie and writer Jerry Belson split the film's focus between the contestants (among them Annette O'Toole, Melanie Griffith, and Colleen Camp) and the sponsors and judges, and if the plot takes an absurd turn at the climax, Smile is ultimately a rare satire that cares for its characters while skewering their foibles.
The Demon's Rook
Mar 12 to Mar 13
Wednesday and Thursday 4:00, 10:30pm
Dir. James Sizemore - 2011 - 103m - A DARK MATTERS PRESENTATION! ALL SEATS $8
"Exactly the kind of psychotronic gem we search for in no-budget/backyard/DIY horror" - Fangoria
A boy named Roscoe is visited by a strange creature known as Dimwos. By day, Roscoe plays with his best friend Eva. By night, he obsessively draws pictures of his mysterious visitor. All is well, until the night a ghostly light shines through Roscoe's window, luring him into the woods, and ultimately into a portal to another dimension where Dimwos resides.
In an underworld of foggy caverns and endless darkness, Dimwos, the reclusive wizard monk from an ancient race of demons, adopts Roscoe as a pupil and raises him into manhood, revealing to him many secrets. Though, there is one dark secret that Dimwos keeps from his bearded apprentice. Roscoe eventually discovers what his master kept from him. Enraged, he unwittingly unleashes three malevolent demons from their ancient prison.
Roscoe is forced to escape the demons' wrath by way of the portal leading back to our world, inadvertently leading the demons to discover the portal for themselves. They pass through and devastate the rural community within hours. An honest man is transformed into a ghastly abomination. Possessed youths carve their friends into ribbons and crush the skulls of their sweethearts. Fresh corpses dot the horizon and old corpses rise from the grave to dismember the innocent.
As the nightmare unfolds, Roscoe encounters the only human he remembers, his childhood friend Eva. The two of them team up and battle the demons and their minions, who are bent on a course of destruction that can only conclude in catastrophe.
The Visitor (1979)
Mar 12 to Mar 13
Wednesday and Thursday 6:00, 8:15
Dir. Giulio Paradisi a.k.a. Michael J. Paradise - 1979 - 100m - A DARK MATTERS FILM FESTIVAL CO-PRESENTATION
In this unforgettable assault on reality--restored and presented uncut theatrically for the first time ever in the U.S.--legendary Hollywood director/actor John Huston (The Maltese Falcon; Treasure Of The Sierra Madre) stars as an intergalactic warrior who joins a cosmic Christ figure in battle against a demonic 8-year-old girl, and her pet hawk, while the fate of the universe hangs in the balance. Multi-dimensional warfare, pre-adolescent profanity and brutal avian attacks combine to transport the viewer to a state unlike anything they've experienced... somewhere between Hell, the darkest reaches of outer space, and Atlanta, GA . The Visitor fearlessly fuses elements of The Omen, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, The Birds, Rosemary’s Baby, The Fury and even Star Wars creating the most ambitious of all '70s psychedelic mindwarps . Its baffling all-star cast includes Shelley Winters (Night Of The Hunter), Glenn Ford (Superman), Lance Henriksen (Aliens), Franco Nero (Django) and Sam Peckinpah (director of The Wild Bunch).
"The Mount Everest of insane ‘70s Italian movies." - Mondo Digital
ABQ GRINDHOUSE DOUBLE FEATURE: GUTTER PUNK MASSACRE/LEFT FOR DEAD
Saturday 10:15pm ONLY!
Dir. Charles Vick Duncan and Mikel-Jon west - 2013 - 140m total - An N/A film crew & CDP plus MEGA ULTRA STUDIOS production & presentation! All seats $7
Some of the cast & crew in person! See their facebook event!
GUTTER PUNK MASSACRE - Local trash horror guru Charles Vick Duncan (Nazi Apocalypse, Skum Quixote, Bath Salts the Musical, and Duke City Wicked) unleashes yet another ABQ B movie Horror/Comedy classic onto the masses featuring a plethora of local bands and locals battling for their lives. See the extreme not-for-the-kiddies trailer.
LEFT FOR DEAD - Four of the toughest girls from the streets of New Mexico take on the hit-men that killed their little sister in this offbeat modern throwback to exploitation and revenge films. View the intense trailer.
Mar 15 to Mar 16
Saturday and Sunday 1pm ONLY!
Dir. Faythe Levine and Sam Macon - 2014 - 80m - AS PART OF THE CITY WIDE ARTS COLLABORATION "HEART OF THE CITY" - ALL SEATS $5
516 ARTS and The Guild Cinema are teaming up to present two special screenings of Sign Painters, directed by Faythe Levine and Sam Macon. There was a time, as recently as the 1980s, when storefronts, murals, banners, barn signs, billboards and even street signs were all hand-lettered with brush and paint. But, like many skilled trades, the sign industry has been overrun by the techno-fueled promise of quicker and cheaper. The resulting proliferation of computer-designed, die-cut vinyl lettering and inkjet printers has ushered a creeping sameness into our landscape. Fortunately, there is a growing trend to seek out traditional sign painters and a renaissance in the trade.
“Through the individual stories, a larger narrative surfaces about this art form and its fate over time... It is a cautionary tale about the head-long rush into a technology-driven time and a meditation on what’s lost along the way. It is a reminder to look around and recognize the physical history in our presence every day.” —Mary Louise Schumacher, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
End Game Theory
Tuesday 7pm ONLY!
Dir. Mr. J. +Doc. H - 2013 - 108m - A R.evolution I.nfamous P.roductions PRESENTATION! - Only $6 admission!
Come see a show then play Carnie games and win prizes! Check out the side shows and silent auctions of completely original local art. Come support broke movie makers, artists, cartoonists plus others and have fun!
Even after the early resignation of Detective Mason Daniels (Peter T.), he is called onto a crime scene that digs into his past. Jason Salvo (Ryan W.), a Crime Scene Investigator, sticks to his King's right hand side as they play across the bloody Chess board of Albuquerque NM.
The opposing King roams free and continues his murderous game on all persons playing. Not many pieces are still standing in this strategic game. Opening plays and mid game are long gone, only the End Game Theory is left to be played out and there can be only one King left in the end.
Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer
Mar 19 to Mar 20
Wednesday and Thursday 4:30, 6:30, 8:30
Dir. Mike Lerner & Maxim Pozdorovkin - 2013 - 90m - In Honor of Women's Month
ADVANCE TICKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT OUR GOOD FRIENDS SELF SERVE TOYS STARTING MARCH 6 !
Three young women face seven years in a Russian prison for a satirical performance in a Moscow cathedral. But who is really on trial in a case that has gripped the nation and the world beyond – three young artists or the society they live in?
Filmed over the course of six months, this film tells the incredible story of three young women: Nadia, Masha and Katia.
As members of the feminist art collective Pussy Riot, they performed a 40 second "punk prayer" inside Russia's main cathedral. This performance led to their arrest on charges of religious hatred and culminated in a trial that has reverberated around the world and transformed the face of Russian society forever.
With unparalleled access and exclusive footage, this film looks at the real people behind their now famous colourful balaclavas.
Following the bizarre and intricate twists of the trial, we observe three young women fight back against a justice system that seems impervious to logic. From their family and friends we learn what transformed these women from political activists in to modern day icons. As Nadia, Masha, and Katia defend their convictions from a cage inside the courtroom, those Pussy Riot members still at liberty plan new guerilla performances and cultivate a protest movement across the globe.
Moving from farce to tragedy and back again, the film explores how political and religious forces contrived to make an example out of three young artists who stepped out of line. But with Nadia, Masha, and Katia, Russia's ruling powers got more than they bargained for. Are you a ready for a Pussy Riot?
"[A] riveting documentary …" - Nigel Andrews, Financial Times
"Smart and modulated, with attention given to the broader cultural background, and a platform offered to the rioters' detractors." - Catherine Shoard, Observer [UK]
Dir. Rachel Boynton - 2014 - 99m - ALL SEATS $7
From the director of OUR BRAND IS CRISIS - An eyewitness tour through rooms you have no business entering! You’ll eavesdrop on meetings about oil deals worth billions of dollars and watch heavily armed militants preparing to strike. It’s a fast-paced tour through the high-powered world of African oil deals – a quest for money and power and influence that affects us all.
The film’s central story follows a small group of American explorers at Dallas-based oil company Kosmos Energy. Between 2007 and 2011, with unprecedented, independent access, Big Men’s two-person crew filmed inside the oil company as Kosmos and its partners discovered and developed the first commercial oil field in Ghana’s history.
Simultaneously the crew filmed in the swamps of Nigeria’s Niger Delta, following the exploits of a militant gang to reveal another side of the economy of oil: people trying to profit in any way possible, because they’ve given up on waiting for the money to trickle down.
So what happens when a group of hungry people discover a massive and exquisitely rare pot of gold in one of the poorest places on earth?
Watch your back: it’s every company, government and man for himself and everyone wants to be BIG.
THE GREGG DAIGLE CD RELEASE AND VIDEO PREMIERE!
Sunday 1pm ONLY!
2014 - 100m approx - SLIDING DONATION OF $5 to $20
An official launching of the band's new CD Seize the Hay! There will be an acoustic set followed by the premiere of music videos created by NM filmmaker Matti Greenman.
Mystery Science Theater 3000
Mar 28 to Mar 29
Friday and Saturday 10:45pm ONLY!
Dir. Jim Mallon - 1996 - 75m - A PARTIAL BENEFIT FOR THE ABC LIBRARIES! A BUBONICON 46 PRESENTATION! ALL SEATS $8
In his quest for world domination, evil scientist Dr. Clayton Forrester (Trace Beaulieu) devises a scheme to subject the human race to the worst movies ever made (as in the MST3K television series). He tests his plan on Mike Nelson (Michael J. Nelson), the sole human aboard the Earth-orbiting space station known as the Satellite of Love. But our hero and his two robot sidekicks - Crow and Tom Servo - turn a lemon into a much funnier lemon by showering 1955's sci-fi epic "This Island Earth" with wisecracks, ridicule and general silliness. The human race may never be rid of cheesy movies, but when the critics are this nutty, does anyone care?
“MST3K: The Movie probably provides more LPM (laughs per minute) than most Hollywood comedies. It is painfully funny in places: painfully because you nearly herniate yourself stifling laughs to keep from missing the next bon mot.” – John Kelly, Washington Post
“Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie…is hilarious in enough of the right spots to do the show’s big-screen transition justice.” – Rotten Tomatoes
Dedicated to the memory of Russell Johnson, 1924-2014
Mar 29 to Mar 30
Saturday and Sunday 12 Noon ONLY!
Dir. Terry Gilliam - 1981 - 111m - MOM'S MATINEE IS BACK WITH A BRILLIANT ONE!
Young Kevins daydreams burst into astonishing and hilarious life when a band of time-traveling little men come crashing through his bedroom wardrobe and carry him off on an unbelievable crime spree, weaving through the greatest and strangest moments of history. The pint-sized plunderers filch from a neurotic Napoleon (Ian Holm), a dim-witted Robin Hood (John Cleese) and a heroic King Agamemnon (Sean Connery), leading to a showdown with the dark forces of Evil (David Warner)...all while keeping just one precarious step ahead of the wrath of The Supreme Being himself!Producer/Director/Co-writer Terry Gilliam (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Brazil) teams with many of his comic-genius cohorts from Monty Python to bring this laugh-out-loud modern fairy tale-adventure to life.
"The film is resolutely, passionately antiadult, yet much of the humor has an adult sophistication and edge to it; this is one kids' movie that doesn't condescend." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"A cheerfully irreverent lark -- part fairy tale, part science fiction and part comedy." - Vincent Canby, New York Times
"Amazingly well-produced. The historic locations are jammed with character and detail. This is the only live-action movie I've seen that literally looks like pages out of Heavy Metal magazine." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Feeding Frenzy: The Food Industry, Marketing & the Creation of a Health Crisis
Sunday 4:30pm ONLY!
Dir. Kate Geis - 2013 - 60m - A MEDIA LITERACY PROJECT PRESENTATION - FREE BUT SEATING IS LIMITED!
MEDIA CRITIC & SCHOLAR SUT JHALLY IN PERSON TO GIVE TALK, Q&A AND DISCUSSION!
Over the past three decades, obesity rates in the U.S. have more than doubled for children and tripled for adolescents -- and a startling 70% of adults are now obese or overweight. The result has been a widening epidemic of obesity-related health problems, including coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes. While discussions about this spiraling health crisis have tended to focus on the need for more exercise and individual responsibility, Feeding Frenzy trains its focus squarely on the responsibility of the processed food industry and the outmoded government policies it benefits from. It lays bare how taxpayer subsidies designed to feed hungry Americans during the Great Depression have enabled the food industry to flood the market with a rising tide of cheap, addictive, high calorie food products, and offers an engrossing look at the tactics of the multibillion-dollar marketing machine charged with making sure that every one of those surplus calories is consumed.
Features industry analysts, health experts, and advertising scholars, including Marion Nestle, Kelly Brownell, Sut Jhally, Brian Wansink, and Michele Simon.
"Joining Supersize Me and King Corn as one of the decade's very best food documentaries, Feeding Frenzy covers important and, as of yet, unchartered territory as it turns a keen and critical eye on the marketing practices of the food industry. A must-see!" - Justin Lewis | Head of the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media, and Cultural Studies at Cardiff University
"Powerful, important, and damning. Zeroing in on the corporate practices of the multibillion-dollar food industry, this film adds a fresh and essential perspective to current debates about corporate power, food, and health. Watch this film and show it to your students!" - Erica Scharrer | Chair of Communication at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst
"Given the sheer power of today's consolidated food industry as a marketing behemoth, it's a relief to have the critical eye of Media Education Foundation dissect what's being sold to consumers as a healthy food system. In their new documentary Feeding Frenzy, Sut Jhally and a savvy set of experts and practitioners unpack the contradictory, confusing, ubiquitous, and deeply problematic discourses of agriculture, food, and health, raising critical questions about responsibility, choice, and power without succumbing to the moral panic of many other films. This will be a powerful tool for the public, the classroom, and political discourse." - Alice Julier, Ph.D. | Program Director & Associate Professor of Food Studies at Chatham University
"So many videos on food focus on production, but not as much on the market and consumption side. Feeding Frenzy does a fine job of explaining how our food environment is manipulated to get us to buy and eat more than is good for us." - Dr. Christine Barbour | Department of Political Science at Indiana University
Mistaken for Strangers
Apr 11 to Apr 12
Friday and Saturday 10pm ONLY!
Dir. Tom Berninger - 2014 - 92m - All Seats $8
Hailed by Michael Moore as "one of the best documentaries about a band that I've ever seen" and by Pitchfork as "the funniest, most meta music movie since SPINAL TAP," MISTAKEN FOR STRANGERS is a truly hilarious, unusual, and moving film about two brothers, Matt and Tom Berninger.
Matt, the lead singer of the critically acclaimed rock band The National, finally finds himself flush with success. His younger brother, Tom, is a loveable slacker - a filmmaker and metal-head still living with his parents in Cincinnati. On the eve of The National's biggest tour to date, Matt invites Tom to work for the band as a roadie, unaware of Tom's plan to film the entire adventure.
What starts as a rock documentary soon becomes something else: an honest portrait of a charged relationship between two brothers, and the frustrations of unfulfilled creative ambitions.
Pandora's Box (1929)
Apr 12 to Apr 13
Saturday and Sunday 1pm ONLY!
Dir. George W. Pabst - 1929 - 133m - Germany - Silent - with English intertitles - $5 General / $2 for ALBUQUERQUE FILM CLUB MEMBERS
An ALBUQUERQUE FILM CLUB event!
One of the masters of early German cinema, G. W. Pabst had an innate talent for discovering actresses (including Greta Garbo). And perhaps none of his female stars shone brighter than Kansas native and onetime Ziegfeld girl Louise Brooks, whose legendary persona was defined by Pabst’s lurid, controversial melodrama Pandora’s Box. Sensationally modern, the film follows the downward spiral of the fiery, brash, yet innocent showgirl Lulu, whose sexual vivacity has a devastating effect on everyone she comes in contact with. Daring and stylish, Pandora’s Box is one of silent cinema’s great masterworks and a testament to Brooks’s dazzling individuality.
EXPERIMENTS IN CINEMA v9.72 !!
Apr 14 to Apr 21
Monday to Wednesday & Saturday to Monday
Based in Albuquerque, NM, Experiments in Cinema is an annual celebration of international cinematic experimentation. This year, this exciting fest will take place in various venues around Albuquerque, on April 14-21, 2014! Check their website for additional updates and movie titles with descriptions! This is a presentation by Basement Films. This project is made possible in part by New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts, The McCune Charitable Foundation, the Albuquerque Community Foundation and The Trust For Mutual Understanding.
Visit here for a full lineup!
Prayers of the Ancient Ones
Saturday 1:30pm ONLY!
Dir. Pema Gellek - 2013 - 71m - A GUNA FOUNDATION PRESENTATION! - Tickets $10 - with Producer Barry Schieber in person
“. . . moving and beautiful — the story of many communities empowered to give. It effectively charts a path to peace through cinematography, through an abundance of visual perspectives alive with dynamism, but deeply quiet. The message is of inner transformation through knowledge.” - Huffington Post
Prayers of the Ancient Ones takes us on a journey to Bodh Gaya, India, the holiest site of Buddhism where the Buddha attained supreme enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. Each year, over 10,000 Tibetan monks, nuns and lay pilgrims travel here from all across the Himalayan region to pray for world peace and affirm their heritage in the face of overwhelming challenge and loss.
The film chronicles the story of the World Peace Ceremony founded by Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche in 1989, an annual event that has united the Tibetan Nyingma community, the most ancient of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism.
Media Ecology with Gerry Fialka
Monday 6:00, 8:00
Dir. Gerry Fialka - 2014 - 90m per approx - $7 PER PROGRAM / $10 BOTH
AS PART OF EXPERIMENTS IN CINEMA V9.72!
6pm- HOT DOCS AS SUBVERSIVE ART - Filmmaker Gerry Fialka probes the hottest new documentary innovators, including Joshua Oppenheimer, Rodney Ascher, Lucy Walker, Penny Lane, Errol Morris, Werner Herzog, Barbara Kopple, Aron Ranen, Ondi Timoner, Alex Gibney and more. Why is there such a rise in documentary popularity? How and why are new documentaries generating and reinforcing mistrust in mainstream media? Do they more activate or pacify the audience? Delve deep into Direct Cinema (Mayles, Leacock, Pennabaker, Wiseman) and Cinema Verite (Vertov, Rouch) by interconnecting the similarities and differences. Sociologist Edgar Morin coined the term "direct cinema" in 1960, and in discussing the difference between direct cinema and cinema verite, wrote, "There are two ways to conceive direct cinema: the first is to pretend that you can present reality to be seen; the second is to pose the problem of reality. In the same way, there are two ways to conceive cinema verite. The first is to pretend that you brought truth. The second is to pose the problem of truth." Investigate how direct cinema and cinema verite reveal underlying truths, ambiguity, mystery and the complexity of the characters. "Chris Marker was quick to rephrase as 'ciné, ma vérité' (cinema, my truth) Rouch and Morin’s quasi-scientific-sounding translation of Dziga Vertov’s kino-pravda, signaling that he had no intention of abandoning personal expression as a means of engaging with the world." - Catherine Lupton. Analyze fly-on-the-wall and fly-in-the-soup approaches. With rare film clips and discussion on how we perceive the world. What is the story, and then, what is the "real" story? How and why are new documentaries generating and reinforcing mistrust in mainstream media? Do they more activate or pacify the audience?
8pm- PORTRAIT OF THE POET AS EXPERIMENTAL FILMMAKER - Historian/Lit Critter Gerry Fialka is joined by Dudeist Priest DON McIVER & local poets (including Erika T. Wurth, Bill Nevins & Damien Flores) in this fun interactive workshop-film screening examining the interconnections between film and poetry. These artforms expand our notions of reality both inner and outer. How is the interior dialogue (consciousness) the essence of the human condition? How does it inform content vs. form issues? Explore Poe, the Symbolists, Hollis Frampton, Walt Whitman, William Farley, Jack Kerouac, Charles Olson, Henry Ferrini, Robert Creeley, and Beat films up to contemporary New Media makers. Drawing on witty and insightful analysis of poet/experimental filmmakers Jean Cocteau, James Broughton, Maya Deren, Marie Menken, Abigail Child, Bob Branaman, Jack Smith, Yoko Ono and Stan Brakhage, Fialka reviews first-person lyrical visions. This multi-media event includes rare film clips of Diane DiPrima, Amiri Baraka, Bukowski, Beckett, Burroughs and Gary Snyder, as well as live readings accompanied by film projections that stir up new metaphors via self-reflexive synthesis. Come into deeper awareness of synesthesia and the non-physical via spoken word and moving image art. "All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling." - Oscar Wilde. Radically change the paradigms of sense ratio shifting. Turn the eye into an ear ala McLuhan's percepts. Fialka's observations provoke the rascality retrieval of Man (Cine-poem) Ray and Curtis Harrington, who transformed Poe into cinema. "Poets understand texts better than most information technologists." - Jerome McGann. "You don't have to be a communist to be anti-capitalist. It is enough to be a poet." - Jonas Mekas, seminal experimental filmmaker.
GERRY FIALKA: Artist, writer, and paramedia ecologist lectures world-wide on experimental film, avant-garde art and subversive social media. Fialka has been praised by the Los Angeles Times as "the multi-media Renaissance man." The LA Weekly proclaimed him "a cultural revolutionary." Laughtears.com http://www.laughtears.com/bio.html
Apr 26 to Apr 27
12 Noon ONLY!
Dir. Koji Masunari - 2010 - 136m - Japan - In English - MOM'S MATINEE SCREENS AN ANIMATED STUNNER!
"A big pile of awesome!" "Evocative of Ghost in the Shell by way of Yellow Submarine. Colors explode and the action is eclectic… Whether you're watching steampunk machinery, huge organic living spaceships, utopian paradises, apocalyptic dormant gods or evil circuses, this galactic tour is engrossing!" - Twitch
"A gorgeous spectacle of a movie!" - Anime News Network
"A sheer abundance of visual invention!" "An endless succession of strange and wondrous alien creatures...some resemble the creations of Hayao Miyazaki, while others bring to mind the wild cartoonish figures of Satoshi Kon's Paprika." - The New York Times
With an intergalactic cast of thousands, Koji Masunari’s colorfully explosive debut feature sets a new high for visual spectacle and sheer inventiveness of character design – in what has to be one of the most gleefully surreal depictions of alien life forms ever portrayed in cinema.
It seems like just another lazy summer is in store for Amane and her older cousin Natsuki. Lolling about the Japanese countryside, the days are blithe and boundless. But boredom quickly vanishes when they find an injured dog in the woods and bring him back to the cabin – only to discover that he is not a dog at all, but Pochi, an alien botanist sent to Earth to track down a rare and powerful plant called Zughaan (better known to Earthlings as wasabi root). Before long, Pochi has whisked the kids away to a space colony on the dark side of the moon, an interstellar melting pot where we experience a non-stop parade of humorous alien creatures, jellyfish spaceships, dragon trains, and – if that weren’t enough – a theme song from UK pop anomaly Susan Boyle. (Really? Yes, really.) The plot twists come fast and furious, and with such a glorious barrage of color and invention washing across the screen, you just want to hit pause and gawk at the wonder of what you are seeing.