Academy Awards

Christine Marran marran at
Mon Feb 23 14:03:16 EST 2009

Having seen all the animated shorts, I found Kato Kunio's animation to
be nostalgic, conventional, and tepid in its story of a man traveling
down memory lane through the signposts of married life (children born,
children grow up, children get married, hang photos on wall, wife dies,
set a glass for her at the dinner table in her memory). The twist was
that each room in which he remembers these events had been flooded over
time. As he swam through the old rooms with a diver's suit on, his
memories came "flooding" back. It would have worked well with a bit of
humor instead of the cloying sentiment not dissimilar from Sean Penn's
piece in the 9'11'01' film shorts collection (which contains Imamura
Shohei's fantastic short, but I digress). Kato's animation style was
interesting and the colors wonderful.

Oktapodi was hilarious if a bit thin. It's not a thought piece for sure.
The Lavatory Lovestory style was really good in terms of style and
timing and probably my pick for its timing, fantastic use of the line,
and of black, white and color. This Way Up was pretty creative little
piece. Kato's was the only unamusing piece and maybe won for that
reason. There were other great animation shorts in the collection they
showed at theaters.


> Those watching the show already know, but Kato Kunio won the Academy
> Award for best animated short.
> I believe this is the first time a Japanese film has won in this
> category.
> On Jan 22, 2009, at 10:13 PM, Aaron Gerow wrote:
>> I should note that it was also announced that Kato Kunio's "Tsumiki
>> no Ie?f?f (The House of Small Cubes) was nominated in the animated
>> short film category. Here's his website:
>> He apparently works at Robot.
>> This is the first Japanese nomination in this category since Yamamura
>> Koji's Atamayama in 2003.
>> Aaron Gerow
>> KineJapan owner
>> Assistant Professor
>> Film Studies Program/East Asian Languages and Literatures
>> Yale University
>> For list commands, send "information kinejapan" to
>> listserver at
>> Kinema Club:

Christine L. Marran
Associate Professor of Japanese Literature and Cultural Studies
Department of Asian Languages and Literatures
University of Minnesota

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