June 8, 2023

Short Sunday Theatre – Atama-Yama


Atama Yama

My apologies once again for lack of Short Sunday Theatre posts the past few weekends but its a new year so lets start a fresh with a new short film. We are entering the Awards season when the big hitters will arrive in Cinemas, but awards are not all about Feature films, there is shorts. Koji Yamamura’s Atama Yama (Mount Head)was Japan’s Oscar Entry a unique and darkly humourous tale of a man who unexpectedly has a tree beginning to grow out of his head.

Amazingly Atama Yama won ‘Best Short Film, Animated’ 13 years ago in 2003 but also winning Best ‘Best Animated Short Film’ Cristal at Annecy which in a way is like Animated Oscars. A surreal 10 minute short that pays homage to Rakugo ( a 400-year-old tradition of comic storytelling in Japan.A minimalistic performance art, Rakugo features a lone storyteller dressed in kimono, kneeling on a cushion, who, using only a fan and a hand towel for props – source).

Atama Yama (or Mount Head in English)  is a contemporary twist to a classic tale and director Yamamura did mention his reason for picking the style “I found it very fascinating, and also sort of contemporary in its themes, and its appeal to contemporary people. It contains a lot of truisms, and that is why I chose this story. I transformed the old setting of 200 years ago to a contemporary setting, and it now depicts modern life”.

Whilst the film been in a traditional style it’s more resonating a styling that makes the film more accessible, its a film about greed. In Atama Yama a man who eats and eats cherries who refuses to throw away the pits, even ones of other people. He even goes as far as consuming the cherries from a tree to get to the pits but wants more leading him to an psychedelic conclusion.

source:Short Of The Week

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