Treasure City is truly an urban jungle –- dense and overgrown with life, a riot of clutter and colour, but a certain rot is creeping in. Sinister characters are making their presence known, and felt – nasty gangsters prowl the streets, doing the bidding of a cynical real-estate developer of highly unusual origins. Peering down at it all from above, from the rooftops and lampposts across which they leap with supernatural grace, are a pair of street kids everyone calls “the Cats.” They’re Black, the sharp, stoic one, and White, the simple-witted dreamer. They’re tough, fast and feral, orphans, brothers maybe –- who knows? Do they? –- and they’d like to fancy themselves superheroes, guardians of their gritty, busy corner of the world. That means the yakuza will have to get through Black and White to pull off their schemes, but rest assured, the villains have plenty of tricks up their sleeves.
Lovers of groundbreaking animation and unique visions in the field of comics, rejoice! The highly anticipated feature film Tekkon Kinkreet is at last here for our eyes and ears to soak up to the last drop! Based on the distinctive manga series by Taiyo Matsumoto –- originally serialized in the weekly Japanese anthology Big Comic Spirits in 1993, later collected in English as Black & White –- Matsumoto’s demented yet deeply humane work immediately stood out in a field known for its regulated conformity. In 1999, American animator Michael Arias collaborated with Japanese maverick Koji Morimoto (whose short film Noiseman Sound Insect stunned Fantasia crowds in ’97) on a brief experiment in bringing Tekkon Kinkreet to the screen. The resulting short film left anime lovers salivating.
In 2003, Arias produced The Animatrix, reconnecting him with a former Studio Ghibli hand, producer Eiko Tanaka, now of Studio 4°C (the anime renegades behind Mind Game, Fantasia 2005, and much more). The Tekkon Kinkreet project reignited, and exceptional talent was brought on board, including art director Shinji Kimura (Otomo’s Steamboy) and, for the musical score, U.K. techno wizards Plaid. The result is, of course, a sensitive if intensely surreal look at urban renewal and its impact on the economic underclass, and the preciousness of human bonds is a volatile environment. But it’s also an explosive visual feast of intense action and inner-city grit (the title is a combination of the Japanese terms for "iron," "concrete" and "muscles"), bursting with texture, tones and detail.
“A lavish urban fantasy… a work of rare technical ambition… a visual wonder” - Doug Cummings, FILMJOURNEY.ORG
“Harnesses the dramatic power of the decaying city to spectacular effect” - Julia Wallace, VILLAGE VOICE
CANADIAN PREMIERE Hosted by Director MICHAEL ARIAS
WINNER: Public Prize, Gold Fantasia, Best Animated Film, Fantasia 2007
Director: Michael Arias
Screenplay: Anthony Weintraub, from Taiyo Matsumoto
Cast: Kazunari Ninomiya
Producers: Eiko Tanaka, Naoki Kitagawa, Yasushi Shiina, Osamu Teshima
Distributor: Sony Pictures