I watched this film in the Japanese FESTIVAL 2006 in Viet Nam, it's very clear that they show this short film collection to present Japanese culture and it did this job really well though there're so many kids came to watch and went out soon cause it's not the anime they want.
There're 36 awesome animators with various nationalities join into a project that was held by the maestro KIHACHIRO KAWAMOTO, whose works in puppet animation are Japaness national treasures (I was in love with his princess puppets for a long time). Though I only knew KAWAMOTO, ISAO TAKAHATA (the 2nd leader of Ghibli Studio) and YURI NORSTEIN (the old Russian master who create the masterpiece HEDGEHOG IN THE FOG), the other animators really impress me with their works in this project ,most of them are Japanese , some from Russia,Czech ,England, Belgium,China and some from the National Film Board of Canada, where they make great animated films every year.
Then what's this project for ? WINTERDAYS is a tribute to BASHO MATSUO (1664 - 1694),the legendary haiku poet , WINTERDAYS is the name of a denku (or denka/denga) which was made by BASHO and his friends in Nagoya.Haiku maybe is famous but what's a denku ? This's a kind of Japanese poetry, in which some poets participate in writing a poem, when someone write a 2-lines poem, the next one will continue writing a new poem that take the last line in the previous one to be the first line (they will explain every detail in the second half of the film). This kind of work with all inspirations had inspired KAWAMOTO, he decided to create an animated film in the same way. Then each animator was invited to take 2 lines and represent this poem by animation in various styles , you'll see many kinds of animated film in this project. And the ways these animators show their thoughts and feelings about the poems by images are really interesting , some of them are sad, some are scary,dark and surreal , some make you laughing out loud, some that you'll understand nothing at all and challenge your imaginations. They're all great experimental short films that were seriously and respectfully made to tribute "the old wandering master" BASHO MATSUO and of course, were made with masterly animation's technic.
WINTERDAYS is made for all animation's lovers (but not for who just only love anime) and for those who interesting in Japanese ancient culture, who'll found 105 minutes of relaxing in haiku's calm atmosphere,who'll can open their feeling for what they don't understand immediately.I must write this comment with more details but I've just watch the film only one time, I wish I could get a DVD to watch WINTERDAYS again, again and again.
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