Guest blogger Julie Hwang is Community Relations Director for the Asian Film Festival of Dallas, which will serve as our guest film blogger for November.
Amongst the many welcome offerings of the Lone Star International Film Festival this week is the sci-fi anime film Vexille.
Although already available on DVD, Vexille offers a stunning display of artistry and technology that deserves to be viewed on a large canvas. (You might have seen it on the giant Victory Park screens during this spring’s AFI Dallas Film Festival.) Filmmaker Fumihiko Sori has a great talent for visuals and action, honed from his early days working as a special effects animator for big budget Hollywood films like Titanic (where, he joked, he spent a lot of time making people fall to their deaths in the ocean).
For Vexille, Sori uses a groundbreaking mixture of CGI, traditional hand drawn animation and motion capture to tell his dystopian story of a future in which Japan has completely shut itself off from the world, hidden behind a literal veil of technology which jams all surveillance and prevents unwanted entry. After disturbing evidence of Japan’s biotechnology and robotics programs comes to light, an American team of commandos, led by young female officer Vexille, is sent on a secret mission to infiltrate Japan and discover its secrets.
The hybrid animation technique allows Sori to realize his action set pieces, like an initial commando raid against robotic sentries, with precision and balletic beauty, as well as providing the computing power to create stunning vistas in his futuristic world. The hand drawn techniques soften the overall look and brings his animated characters back from the uncanny valley and make them more human and effective.
Vexille is a film at the forefront of animation. Experience it fully, on the big screen, Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at the Four Day Weekend Theater in Fort Worth.