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Experimental Japanese Animation: Keita Kurosaka's "Midori-ko"

March 23, 2011, 7:30 P.M.

The Albert and Dana Broccoli Theatre, SCA 112, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007


Japanese experimental filmmaker Kurosaka Keita will screen his much-anticipated, hand-drawn animated film Midori-ko while on his way to the Ann Arbor Film Festival. Kurosaka’s work is described by critics as “very painterly and grotesque and surreal” and has been screened in the past at Image Forum and Oberhausen. He has worked on this film the last ten years only putting out smaller pieces and contributing to a music video for the Japanese alternative metal band Dir En Grey in the meantime. Midori-ko is a roughly 100 minute commentary on the impact of human industry and consumption on the environment.

The event includes a screening and a Q&A with the director, who teaches animation and digital media at the Musashino Art University.


About Midori-ko

A ten-year labor of love and composed from over 20,000 images, Kurosaka Keita’s animation film Midori-ko brings together narratives of bio-mimicry, food politics, and an uncanny, mystical environmentalism. In anticipation of the coming food crisis, five scientists are working to develop a "dream food," one that is both meat and vegetable. But, progress in the laboratory, located amidst a derelict shopping district, has hit a dead end. One day, in the wee hours of the night, a pillar of light penetrates the lab. This is the light of a special starry sky that graces the Earth only once every ten thousand years. The scientists are overjoyed at what the light's tremendous force has produced: the dream food that is Midori-ko. But Midori-ko has no intention of being eaten and instead flies away, escaping the lab. Desperate in their search, the scientists eventually determine that Midori-ko is being taken care of by an agricultural studies student living in the same neighborhood. The scientists try to steal Midori-ko back. But Midori keeps her guard high and Midori-ko out of their grasp. Instead, it's the apartment residents with their healthy appetites who try to eat Midori-ko at any chance they get! Finally, a ravenous battle over Midori-ko erupts between the scientists, Midori, and the apartment dwellers.

About Kurosaka Keita

Prominent within the Japanese genre of art animation and highly acclaimed overseas, Kurosaka Keita has developed an adoring fanbase that loves the breathtaking pace of his narratives and the tremendous power of his images. Having explored various methods of animation including drawing, photography, and sculptur, Kurosaka has experimented across his career in various media: video clips, installation pieces, and comics.

Born in 1956, Kurosaka Keita is active as an animator and as Professor in the Department of Imaging Arts and Sciences at Tokyo's Musashino Art University. Across his career, Kurosaka has explored various methods of animation including drawing, photography, and sculpture and has also produced video clips, installation pieces, and comics. Kurosaka's films have screened widely at international festivals including Rotterdam, Berlin, Annecy, and Hiroshima. He was also responsible for the 23rd stanza of the 2003 animated film Winter Days, collaboratively created from the individual contributions of 35 world-class animators. Kurosaka also created the 2006 promotion video Agitated Scream of Maggots for the internationally acclaimed Japanese rock band Dir en grey. Kurosaka's major works include Worm Story (1989), Personal City (1990), ATAMA (1994), and Flying Daddy (1997.)

Co-sponsored by the SCA Grad Council, the East Asian Languages and Cultures Department and the East Asian Studies Center.

Contact Information

Name: Anne McKnight