Singapore animated feature Tatsumi heading for Cannes
Tatsumi, Eric Khoo's new film based on the life and short stories of Yoshihiro Tatsumi will be the 13th animated feature to premiere at Cannes Official Selection. It will be in good company following in the footsteps of Dumbo (1947), The Fantastic Planet (1973), Fritz The Cat (1974), Shrek (2001), The Triplets of Belleville (2003), Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004), Shrek 2 (2004), Over the Hedge (2006), Persepolis (2007), Kung-Fu Panda (2008), Waltz with HIR (2008) and Up (2009).
Yoshihiro Tatsumi revolutionized manga. Being a cinephile he tried to blend both art forms at a very
early age and that led to Gekiga which was recently explored in a Japanese documentary on Tatsumi
where all the senior manga creators paid tribute to him. As a boy, he loved movies and harboured ambitions of becoming a film director. But he new he was not quite cut out for the job as he preferred to sit alone facing a wall, making the stories that he's dreamt up come alive on paper. Tatsumi's imagination was constantly stirred and inspired by the many movies he saw, and by the pot boiling mystery novels his brother egged him to read. It spurred him to experiment with frames, perspectives and angles in his comics, to imbue psychological and dramatic depth to characters and stories. Asked what he was trying to achieve with Gekiga, Tatsumi, on more than one occasion, answered: "to create manga which is not manga".
He pioneered a breakthrough in comics, elevating the genre to a whole new level of creative expression influenced by cinema. Khoo's animated feature Tatsumi is a tribute to a man who sought to make comics cinematic and after half a century later his stories will finally come alive on the big screen. This 95 minute animated feature in Japanese explores the life of the father of Gekiga inspired by his autobiography, A Drifting Life. It also showcases some of Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s most important stories written in the early seventies such as Hell, Beloved Monkey, Just A Man, Occupied and Goodbye.