<em>Love</em> by Yoji Kuri <em>Love</em> by Yoji Kuri

Love by Yoji Kuri

It’s a shame that Yoji Kuri’s animated shorts aren’t more widely available in the West, especially considering that Kuri is one of the godfathers of indie Japanese animation. Below is his film Love from 1963. Kuri, who turned 80 this year, is the subject of a new documentary that premiered at the Hiroshima Animation Festival last month. Also worth a look is this article about his films.

  • Kishida Kyōko gets everywhere, doesn’t she? If that’s who the “K. Kishida” is (I didn’t recognise it as her just from the voice). The film itself reminds me, after thinking about it a little, of all those demon women clutching ripped-out hearts and phalluses which I drew while in high-school, in so that it seems to me to have been inspired by similar events and feelings. Rather depressing for the cute and comforting film I would have expected from both the title and the visual style and was looking forward to. But, on the other hand, I suppose it’s good that someone has made an animated film about what love is actually like, rather than “love” as word used to mean everything that is good in the world.

    If you don’t get it (and/or don’t know some basic Japanese) the man is in love with the woman as well (that’s why he’s also saying “ai”) but his involuntary, knee-jerk reaction to being near to the person he loves is to run away as far and as quickly as possible from them. So, my impression is that the “message” of the film, if there is one, is that different people can react to love in very different ways. That’s quite informative and not all that depressing, though the Takemitsu soundtrack can make it seem so while actually watching it (both Takemitsu and Kishida have also contributed to Kawamoto Kihachirō’s animated films, but not on any of the same ones, I think).