Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tatsumi Gala Premiere - Opens 15th September 11 @ GV Grand & GV Plaza


Attended Tatsumi Gala Premiere last weekend together with Shoel, @ GV Grand.Was really a great pleasure to meet the director, Eric Khoo and Yoshihiro Tatsumi San, the artist who gave life to the characters in the movie.


Catch the preview here!


Synopsis:

TATSUMI celebrates the life and work of Japanese comics artist Yoshihiro Tatsumi. In post-war occupied Japan, young Tatsumi’s passion for comics eventually becomes a means of supporting his poor family. Already published as a teenager, talented Tatsumi finds even greater inspiration after meeting his idol,famous Disneyesque animator Osamu Tezuka. Despite his steady success, Tatsumi begins to question why Japanese comics should cater to children with cute and whimsical tales and drawings. In 1957,Tatsumi coins the term gekiga (dramatic pictures) and redefines the manga landscape by encouraging an alternative genre for adults. Realistic and disquieting, Tatsumi’s work begins to grapple with the darker aspects of life…

In the late 1950s, Yoshiro Tatsumi pioneered a breakthrough in Japanese comics, elevating the genre to a whole new level of creative expression influenced by adult themes. A tribute to an artist who sought to make comics cinematic, Eric Khoo’s animated feature TATSUMI brings the manga legend’s classic stories to the big screen for the first time.



Tatsumi San in action!


Another of him...


A few lucky winners who had received his drawings...


If you see clearly, it actually features one of the characters in the movie...


Another winner, seen here with Japanese actor, Tetsuya Bessho San, who's also the voice over for many characters in the movie.


A close up on Tatsumi san's artwork...lucky dude!


Thanks to GG talents for the media invitation!


Shoel and myself...

Some of the short stories featured are as follows...


" I have been a massive fan of the short stories of Yoshihiro Tatsumi for over two decades
and I was overwhelmed after reading his 800-page autobiography, “A Drifting Life”. His life story was inspirational. I was extremely moved by the love and passion he has for his craft, and the trials and tribulations he went through in pursuit of it. At the back of the lovingly illustrated tome, I saw a photograph of the man himself, resting his cheeks in his palms. For many nights after that, his face appeared in my mind and I felt restless… and inspired. I felt compelled to re-read his short stories that were written in the late sixties and seventies. And the sense of wonderment and awe that enveloped me when I first read them all those years ago returned. Not only is Yoshihiro Tatsumi a consummate storyteller, he is also a brutally astute and honest observer of love, life and the human condition. And these observations remain as haunting and disturbing today. " - Mr. Eric Khoo


Pay special attention to the music in this movie... because it's composed by Mr. Eric Khoo's 13 year old son, Christopher!


According to Mr. Khoo, the stories used in TATSUMI are an example of how adult-oriented his
work was then, and very risqué for the 70s. They were far from the usual kiddie manga fare. These stories were so controversial and shocked many back then. But there was also a growing number of alternative readers who fell in love with the stories he was telling in true gekiga fashion. Even writer Yukio Mishima was a fan of this new bold form of storytelling.


" .... I had hit the wall and was out of ideas until a friend passed me Mr. Tatsumi’s book Good -bye . I read it in one sitting. I was totally inspired and I was able to churn out all the stories for my book in two weeks...." - Mr. Eric Khoo


"....I love Mr. Tatsumi’s characters because they tend to be so everyday and
realistic. There is something so dark and sad and beautiful in his work. And there is so much creativity riding through his very original story lines that are timeless because they deal with the human condition in a very unique way. I love how the intriguing story of Hell unfolds, slowly sucking you in. Beloved Monkey is probably the saddest story in the collection, and it happens to be Mr. Tatsumi’s favourite story featured in the film. Just a Man has everything all rolled up into one – humour, grief, drama. The protagonist in this story is a sad loser that you just want to champion for. The idea of being inspired by pornographic graffiti in Occupied really got me going! I think that Tatsumi’s Good -bye is the boldest and hardest story of them all. It is beautifully tragic and twisted. Because of its impact on me when I first read it over two decades ago, I decided to leave it as the last story for the film...." - Director, Mr. Eric Khoo



Mr. Eric Khoo wanted Tatsumi san to do the voiceover for his life chapters as he felt that this would give more meaning and also it could cover more ground from Tatsumi san's heart. He’s a very shy and humble man, so it took a lot of nagging for him to agree. Japanese actor Tetsuya Bessho brought the film to another level with his incredible voice projections. He’s a very versatile theatre actor as well, and thus he was able to play many roles: two characters in Hell – the lead and the sick son, the lead in Beloved monkey , the narrator for Just a Man , and the lead in Occupied , as well as the publisher who fires him.

Personally, Tatsumi gave me another approach to animae. The theme would suit more appropriate for the mature audiences, who's able to give some thoughts to the story after the movie. Some of the short stories actually outline some problems that occur in society today, and many times, the downfall is brought about by many negligences.

Out of the few short stories, I will go for "Hell" .
Overall, giving this show 3 out of 5 stars. =)



Catch this clip for more behind the scenes!

About the Artist:

Yoshihiro Tatsumi, born in 1935, is a Japanese comics artist who is credited with founding the gekiga style of alternative adult comics in Japan, having coined the term in 1957. Gekiga (literally “dramatic pictures”) evolved and found mainstream acceptance by the 1970s, and has greatly influenced the manga landscape and comics artistry worldwide. The New York Times has hailed Tatsumi as “one of Japan’s most important visual artists“, and Time Magazine described his work as “tales of desperation that achieve a poetic sense of despair”. His work has been translated into 17 languages. In 2010, Tatsumi’s autobiographic graphic novel, “A Drifting Life“, won him multiple Eisner Awards, one of the comics world’s highest honors. His monumental memoir begins with his experiences as a child in Osaka and follows him growing up as part of a
country burdened by the shadows of World War II. Spanning fifteen years, from 1945 to 1960, the book chronicles how, as a child, Tatsumi had to face his father’s financial burdens and his parents’ failing marriage, his jealous brother’s deteriorating health, and the innumerable obstacles that awaited him in the competitive manga market. He dreams of following in the giant footsteps of his idol, manga artist Osamu Tezuka (Astro Boy), with whom Tatsumi eventually became peers and, at times, stylistic rivals. As a boy, Yoshihiro Tatsumi loved movies and harboured ambitions of becoming a director. But he preferred to sit alone facing a
wall, making the stories that he dreamt up come alive on paper. Tatsumi’s imagination was constantly stirred and inspired by the many movies he saw, and by the mystery novels he read. This spurred him to experiment with frames, perspectives and angles in his comics, to imbue psychological and dramatic depth to characters and stories. Classic Tatsumi collections include “Black Blizzard”, “Good-Bye and Other Stories”, “Abandon the Old in Tokyo” and “The Push Man and Other Stories”.

About the Director:

TATSUMI marks Eric Khoo’s return to Cannes after his last feature MY MAGIC was presented in Competition in 2008. Eric put Singapore on the international film map with his first feature film MEE POK MAN (1995), picking up prizes at Fukuoka, Pusan and Singapore. His second feature 12 STOREYS (1997) won several awards including the Golden Maile Award for Best Picture at the 17th Hawaii International Film Festival. 12 STOREYS was also the first Singaporean film to be invited officially to participate in the Cannes Film Festival. MEE POK MAN and 12 STOREYS have together been screened at over 60 film festivals, including Venice, Berlin and Rotterdam. Eric’s third feature BE WITH ME was selected as the opening film for the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes 2005. The film has since won several awards overseas and has been invited to numerous festivals, including Toronto, Telluride and Pusan. In 2006 Eric was invited to direct for the Jeonju Digital Film Festival in Korea – No Day Off , the story of an Indonesian maid. Eric is a recipient of Singapore’s highest arts honor: the Cultural Medallion by the President, and in 2008, he was awarded the “Chevalier de l’ordre des arts et des letters” from the French Minister of Culture. Since 2007, Eric has been a board member of NYU Tisch School of the Arts Asia.

2011 TATSUMI
2009 Boo Junfeng’s SANDCASTLE (producer)
2008 MY MAGIC
2007 Royston Tan’s 881 (producer)
2006 NO DAY OFF (segment of omnibus feature DIGITAL SAM IN SAM SAEK 2006:
TALK TO HER)
2005 Royston Tan’s 4:30 (producer)
2005 BE WITH ME
2003 Royston Tan’s 15 (producer)
2001 Khoo Koh’s ONE LEG KICKING (producer)
1999 Bee Lian Teng’s LIANG PO PO (producer)
1997 12 STOREYS 1995 MEE POK MAN

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