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Poster for Genius Party
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Genius Party

Director: Atsuko Fukushima, Hideki Futamura, Masaaki Yuasa, Shinichirō Watanabe, Shinji Kimura, Shōji Kawamori, Yoji Fukuyama Run Time: 102 min. Format: DCP Rating: NR Release Year: 2007 Language: Japanese with English subtitles

Starring: Tomoko Kaneda, Rinko Kikuchi, Lu Ningjuan, Taro Yabe, Yûya Yagira

The seven short films making up Genius Party couldn’t be more diverse, linked only by a high standard of quality and inspiration.

Atsuko Fukushima’s intro piece is a fantastic abstraction to soak up with the eyes. Masaaki Yuasa, of Mind Game and Cat Soup fame, brings his distinctive and deceptively simple graphic style and dream-state logic to the table with Happy Machine, his spin on a child’s earliest year. Shinji Kimura’s spookier Deathtic 4, meanwhile, seems to tap into the creepier corners of a child’s imagination and open up a toybox full of dark delights. Hideki Futamura’s Limit Cycle conjures up a vision of virtual reality, while Yuji Fukuyama’s Doorbell and Baby Blue by Shinichiro Watanabe use understated realism for very surreal purposes. And Shoji Kawamori, with Shanghai Dragon, takes the tropes and conventions of traditional anime out for very fun joyride.