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Eyes on Pop Culture and Aesthetics - Genius Party

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For all of y'all into animation dealing with the surreal, amazing imagery and the dreariness of life in a consumer society, Genius Party should be an interesting watch.

This short animation anthology combines visual elements of industrialism, postmodern urban life, with a search for the extraordinary. Often taking place on the outskirts of society, representing itself as factories and abandoned buildings at the edge of the city. Some of the works take a more subtle approach by placing the characters in more abstract margin of city. In Doorbell, the protagonist literally becomes a 'nobody' after being replaced by himself.

Genius Party is an anthology of seven short animated films, which was later followed by a sequel, Genius Party Beyond. Because they're both the same genre and not interconnected, we'll consider them the same series. Every short in this series has a different director and it shows. Some of them are more similar than others, but they're all distinct in their stories and animation. Among these directors is Shinichiro Watanabe, famous in the West for directing Samurai Champloo and Cowboy Bebop.

Studio 4C is known for its 'superflat' art style manifested in other works as Tekkonkinkreet and their shorts for The Animatrix. It's a style, orginated in the 00s and influenced by directors such as Hideaki Anno, that eschews the established style and structure conventions that have remained the same in anime since the 1980s. Superflat knows how and superficial ridiculous the conventions are and is not afraid to show it. Forget about kawaii the characters border on the grotesque and emotions are either under- or overexpressed. The ordinary blends in and out with the surreal. It's 'anything goes' animation.

Let's get more specific into some of the short films, shall we?

Dimension Bomb A field near the shore. Rejection turns very intense and becomes an acid-trip filled with explosions and fire. The electronic techno-trance soundtrack is reminiscent of Juno Reactor and it sets the rhytm to the animation audio and video blend together in a very animistic experience.

Genius Party is this a giant paganistic tribal gathering? A rave party where MDMA and LSD are flowing freely through the air? Unlike the other shorts, this one has no urban imagery, but stylistically it fits with Dimension Bomb and Happy Machine.

Baby Blue it's not all surreal. A conversation between two high schoolers skipping out on a day of class. To the western eye it seems like a bit of an awkward ride, but anyone can understand the feeling of certain things in youth coming to an end when life goes into a new direction. And they also blow up a gang of thugs with a grenade.

Interested? Most of the vids are available on Youtube in decent quality, so grab a drink, sit back and chill out to a piece of beautiful art!

Updated 05-20-2013 at 01:24 AM by kotora

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