Do you believe in love at first site? I guess I do, because that’s exactly how I felt the first time I laid eyes on Redline, the new feature from Madhouse which opens this weekend in San Francisco (and simultaneously in Japan) at the Viz Theater!
Redline is directed by virtuoso animator Takeshi Koike, with a script by Katsuhito Ishii, the critically acclaimed director of notable films such as The Taste of Tea and Shark Skin Man, Peach Hip Girl (yes he is an accomplished director of real live action movies).
If you haven’t heard of Redline, here are some trailers that speak louder than words:
As you can see, Redline is an Anime, but don’t let that give you any ideas about what it will be like, because this flick is SPECIAL.
A few things pop out to me about this movie.
1) It’s unbelievably gorgeous. Technically and creatively. Everything about it is lush, sharp, exact and inventive.
2) It’s a miracle it exists. Koike and Ishii must have called in a ton of favors to get this film made, because outside of being blatantly awesome, it has ZERO marketability. It’s not based on any existing franchise, it’s too weird for the typical anime crowd, too obviously fun for the typical art house crowd–there’s no built in audience for it. A film like this only gets made cos the people making it believed in it and fought for it. This is a film by artists for artists, and anyone else willing to give it the time of day. It is a pure art film that wants the audience to have fun. If you are curious what the chefs eat when they cook for themselves, seek out Redline.
3) It is burning with passion. The movie’s plot centers around the Redline, the most dangerous race in the universe that takes place every 5 years. In an age of space travel, the only rule of the Redline is that all competing vehicles must primarily move through traction.
Redline (the film) took 5 years to make. In an age where computers dominate animation, Redline is gloriously, defiantly hand drawn. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a movie about the artistic process, and chasing after what you love.
Pay attention to those trailers (which were personally cut together by Ishii). The title card doesn’t say “from Madhouse” it says “From Japan”. The main character’s name is JP. This is a film with high stakes!
Listen to the music. It’s not thumping techno or a rousing orchestral score, it’s easy breezy R&B… love songs! Because this is a story about love. And not just in a romantic sense, it is about loving what you do. Love for your art, for your craft and for the unique culture that engendered it.
Redline looks very, very real. I’m expecting big things from it.
For more information on how to see Redline, visit the Viz Theater website: