Monday, October 13, 2008

Genius Party

NY Premiere of Anime Omnibus 'Genius Party' News
October 10th, 2008 1:16 PM by Aaron H. Bynum

Pure Genius of Japanese Animation

Coming soon to New York is the local premiere of the omnibus of animation from Japanese production group Studio 4°C: Genius Party. Having toured the festival circuit for several months, the collection of short films has earned the respect and acclaim of animation enthusiasts many times over. Integrating an impressive sense of self-confidence with a variety of organic filmmaking styles, Genius Party is the compilation of seven anime projects, each with its own personality and creative impetus.

Having brought together many of the anime industry's most intelligent and inspiring minds, Studio 4°C gave these fascinating animators the leading pencil to invent their own short film as contribution to the Genius Party, a project and an ideal, in pursuing the purest and most unrefined animation possible. Phenomenal animation directors such as Shouji Kawamori, who contributed the short "Shanghai Dragon," and Shinichiro Watanabe, through "Baby Blue," are only a fraction of the talent Studio 4°C benefit from in the production of this collection.

Making its New York premiere at the New York - Tokyo Film Grand Prix 2008 Festival, on Sunday, October 12th, 2008; Genius Party is gauged to further take North American audiences by storm. Presented jointly by New York - Tokyo and the Anime News Network, this presentation of Studio 4°C's Genius Party looks to bring a finer focus on the independent spirit still very much alive in the Japanese animation business.

"There are directors that can make original films, but there aren't enough opportunities to make feature-length movies," Eiko Tanaka, President and co-founder of Studio 4°C, commented in a 2007 interview with fpsMagazine.

"The reason is that the risks are too high to create original long animation films. So at this time we feel it is best to create a collection of short films. I also hope that this project becomes a stepping-stone to create feature films in the future. One of our hopes when we started this project was to try and discover the next Miyazaki."

Additional contributors to Genius Party include "Deathtic 4" directed by Shinji Kimura, "Doorbell" by Yuji Fukuyama, "Happy Machine" by Masaaki Yuasa, "Limit Cycle" by Hideki Futamura, and Atsuko Fukushima's introductory piece to the film, "Genius Party."

Praised for its capacity to render so many different and unrelated narratives through so many different, original creative drives, Genius Party is certainly worthy of reaching a wider audience on western shores, and its New York premiere through the NY-T/ANN screening is certainly a key opportunity. Studio 4°C's second-half of the genius-party project, Genius Party Beyond, which features an additional seven short films including work from Shinya Ohira and Koji Morimoto, is also expected to earn a regional screening through NY-T.

"If there is a theme [for Genius Party], it would be energy," Tanaka commented in the interview cited above. "I don't mean the energy of the animation, but the energy that the project has. As I have stated earlier, Studio 4°C was born from the desires of the creators who longed to create what they really wanted to make."

She continued: "Creators and people generally cannot keep living without expressing themselves. The film has to have this kind of energy with strong longing for self-expression. This was the only requirement and also the theme. It was of course clear to us that it is much easier to sell the product if all the short films have the same tone from a given particular theme. But we chose not to make the same theme or set particular conditions to the films. Instead, we decided to have the diversity of these films be the sales point."

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