Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Japanese animated short film Possessions at Regent Square Theater, from January 31.

On January 31, the Regent Square Theater (map) will present the five pieces nominated for an Oscar in the Short Films (Animated) category for 2014, one of which is the Japanese short Possessions. Toonzone provides a summary:
[A] wanderer in Japan is caught in a storm and seeks shelter in a seemingly abandoned house. However, he soon finds that perhaps he should have taken his chances in the storm, as he is confronted with a succession of bizarre household objects come to life, threatening this intruder on their domain.

To some degree, “Posssessions” is a “how are we getting there?” story. The short exploits enough visual tricks and hints early on that we’re not that surprised when something leaps out at the unnamed traveler and goes, “Boo!” What is surprising is the form that these spooks take, and the traveler’s reaction to them. The burly traveler is coarse and unrefined, reminding me of Toshiro Mifune’s performance as Kikuchiyo in Seven Samurai, but he is also quite resourceful and surprisingly unflappable. Much of the fun of “Possessions” comes from waiting for the form of whatever strange household item is about to turn up; much of the rest comes from seeing how the traveler’s initial shock turns to adapting and enduring.
The program of five films begins on Friday, January 31, at 7:00 pm. Additional times for the first week available via the Pittsburgh Filmmakers website.