I wanted to take some time today and congratulate my cousin, Mike Wiluan, for producing an excellent film, Tatsumi.
Please read and enjoy the NY Times review of Tatsumi that came out April 3rd. The movie is currently playing at Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in NY City.
April 3, 2012
NY Times Movie Review
The Child of a Lost War Who Gave Comics an R Rating
By JEANNETTE CATSOULIS
To nonaficionados, Japanese comic books, or manga, typically celebrate vampire-hunting beauties or feisty schoolgirls, tentacled monsters or technology-crazed teenagers. But to the graphic artist Yoshihiro Tatsumi and his peers in the late 1950s, they offered an opportunity to explore darker, more sophisticated stories about postwar Japan — stories so adult that they required a brand-new name: gekiga.
In "Tatsumi", the director Eric Khoo incorporates five of these stories, all written in the 1970s, into an animated tribute that seeks to vivify this artist's controversial, fearless work. It's potent stuff, delving into pornography, incest, murder and mutilation in the company of alienated men and unhappy, sometimes cruel women. Resonating with the deeply felt shame of a lost war (Mr. Tatsumi was 10 when the atom bomb fell on Hiroshima), these twisted and often touching tales express their author’s rage at a booming economy that failed to lift every boat.
"I vomited it out in stories," he tells us in the mostly gentle narration that accompanies the film's biographical segments, excerpted from his autobiography, "A Drifting Life." Rendered in rather wishy-washy pastels, these segments offer only broad personal details, including how he drew comics at a young age to support his poor family and dealt with the envy of his sickly brother.
By contrast, the moody, mostly black-and-white samples of his art have a tough urgency that leaps from the screen: from the harrowing first story, set in a razed Hiroshima, to the closing tale of a prostitute who has been betrayed one too many times, they mold pulpy drama and moral complexity into a transfixing whole. Capturing the mood of a troubled time, "Tatsumi"is a fine, if frustratingly indistinct, portrait of an artist ripe for rediscovery.
Opens on Wednesday in Manhattan.
Written and directed by Eric Khoo, based on “A Drifting Life” and other
works by Yoshihiro Tatsumi; creative animation director, Phil Mitchell; music by Christopher Khoo; art director, Widhi Saputro; produced by Tan Fong Cheng, Mr. Mitchell, Freddie Yeo and Eric Khoo; released by the Match Factory. At the Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters, Museum of Modern Art. In Japanese, with English subtitles. Running time: 1 hour 34 minutes. This film is not rated.
WITH THE VOICES OF: Tetsuya Bessho and Yoshihiro Tatsumi.
Keep up the great work! Love and miss you all!