MISS HOKU­SAI Art, ar­ti­fice and an­ime

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews -

re­leased OUT NOW! 2015 | 12 | Blu- ray & DVD ( dual for­mat)/ DVD

Di­rec­tor Kei­ichi Hara Cast Anne Watan­abe, Yu­taka Mat­sushige, Kumiko Asô

Here in the West, if we know any­thing about 18th/ 19th cen­tury Ja­panese artist Kat­sushika Hoku­sai it’s the iconic “The Great Wave Off Kana­gawa”, and maybe his wood­block print se­ries “Thirty- Six Views Of Mount Fuji”. If you watch this an­ime you’ll be left lit­tle the wiser.

This is no biopic. This is an el­e­gant, fan­ci­ful, fan­tasy- tinged snap­shot of a pe­riod of Hoku­sai’s life, when his daugh­ter, O- Ei, is at­tempt­ing to gain a rep­u­ta­tion as an artist too. But her work lacks pas­sion. As that changes, she be­comes good enough to anony­mously ful­fil some of her fa­ther’s com­mis­sions. At least, that’s what the film imag­ines; lit­tle is ac­tu­ally known about O- Ei.

It looks stun­ning and there are some beau­ti­ful mo­ments of sub­tlety, mys­ti­cal in­ter­ludes, and clever use of the art­form to savour. It is, how­ever, al­most com­pletely plot­less. It’s more like vis­it­ing an art gallery of mov­ing vi­gnettes. Worth a watch for its artistry, but ul­ti­mately a lit­tle un­sat­is­fy­ing.

Ex­tras Noth­ing on the stan­dard edi­tion, but the dual- for­mat ver­sion ( rated) boasts a 120- minute Mak­ing Of and an in­ter­view with di­rec­tor Hara, and comes with art cards and an art book. Dave Golder

The logo used by the surfy cloth­ing com­pany Quik­sil­ver was in­spired by “The Great Wave Off Kana­gawa”.

“Can’t you just draw a cock and balls?”

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