Largely known for his beautiful, expressive puppets, Kihachiro Kawamoto has been making animated films since the 1950s. It was on the advice of puppet master and filmmaker Jirí Trnka, with whom he briefly studied in Prague, that Kawamoto turned to Japan's aesthetic traditions for his subject matter. Drawing on ancient legends and contemporary short novels, as well as Noh, Kabuki, and Bunraku doll theater, Kawamoto's haunting, poetic films speak of passion and loss, and worlds populated by ghosts and demons. At eighty years of age, he recently completed his second feature-length animation, The Book of the Dead, which was featured in a retrospective of his work at the 2005 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.
As a kid, one of my favorite books was about a young boy apprenticed to a Bunraku master, so this sounds very neat. Hey, spiritualmonkey, are we doing anything the evening of June 28?