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REVIEW: Belladonna of Sadness


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MarshalBanana



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 9:45 am Reply with quote
You say the film has very bad animation, yet you give it an A
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Lord Geo



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 10:22 am Reply with quote
MarshalBanana wrote:
You say the film has very bad animation, yet you give it an A


Nowhere did Gabriella say that the movie had "bad" animation. She simply said that most of the movie has very limited animation, if any at all at some points (camera movement isn't technically "animation"). Just because an anime doesn't have super-fluid animation & may be nothing more than a moving slideshow doesn't mean that it's "bad" animation. Just like how doing animation fluidly is a science, there's also one to knowing how to handle limited (or no) animation well.

As for the movie itself, I am curious about it from a historical perspective, but I do wonder if the content itself might be too much for me. Still, combined with the recent release of the Dororo anime & FUNimation's eventual release of Momotaro, Sea Sailors, it looks like there is a slowly growing market for historical anime (i.e. not simply vintage productions, but rather stuff with real historical importance), which is pretty damn cool.


Last edited by Lord Geo on Fri Jun 17, 2016 10:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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Lemonchest



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 10:22 am Reply with quote
One of the only upcoming releases I can say I actually look forward to. Now I guess we can only hope that the people behind The Sensualist untwist their knickers so that can get a release too. Nice that more & more "forgotten" stuff is getting dug up for international release these days.

Quote:
You say the film has very bad animation, yet you give it an A

Limited=/=bad.
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MarshalBanana



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 10:34 am Reply with quote
As well as limited the review also said "not a lot of fluid animation". All I'm saying is have your score reflect your review.
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Lord Geo



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 10:40 am Reply with quote
And all I'm saying is that Gabriella explained herself just fine when she said:
Quote:
However, the results are memorable and even contribute to the film's power. (There's a great analysis to be written about its use of vertical versus horizontal space.) Despite these limitations, Belladonna of Sadness is, on a purely aesthetic level, almost unbelievably beautiful. I'd hang any given frame of it up on my wall.


Even with the lack of fluid animation, she felt that the movie still managed to work out beautifully, resulting in her giving "Animation" an A. It's not wrong just because you don't agree with it.
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MarshalBanana



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 10:42 am Reply with quote
Lord Geo wrote:
with the recent release of the Dororo anime & FUNimation's eventual release of Momotaro, Sea Sailors, it looks like there is a slowly growing market for historical anime (i.e. not simply vintage productions, but rather stuff with real historical importance), which is pretty damn cool.
Yes it is great there is a market big enough for this. It would be great if a channel like Toonami could arrange a off night for these types of Movies.
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MarshalBanana



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 11:01 am Reply with quote
Lord Geo wrote:
And all I'm saying is that Gabriella explained herself just fine when she said:
Quote:
However, the results are memorable and even contribute to the film's power. (There's a great analysis to be written about its use of vertical versus horizontal space.) Despite these limitations, Belladonna of Sadness is, on a purely aesthetic level, almost unbelievably beautiful. I'd hang any given frame of it up on my wall.


Even with the lack of fluid animation, she felt that the movie still managed to work out beautifully, resulting in her giving "Animation" an A. It's not wrong just because you don't agree with it.
But I never said the Art should not get an A, I never said the review criticised the Art, all I said is the review said the animation was bad, and the score should reflect that. I understand the quote, the Art makes up for the animation, but that still doesn't mean she said the animation is good. And since the reviewer said the animation is bad, then the score should reflect that, and not because I don't agree, but because that's what the reviewer decided on.
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Lord Geo



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 11:22 am Reply with quote
MarshalBanana wrote:
But I never said the Art should not get an A, I never said the review criticised the Art, all I said is the review said the animation was bad, and the score should reflect that. I understand the quote, the Art makes up for the animation, but that still doesn't mean she said the animation is good. And since the reviewer said the animation is bad, then the score should reflect that, and not because I don't agree, but because that's what the reviewer decided on.


I never said anything about the art, either, so we're just moving in circles here. Also, you're once again putting words in the review's "mouth", since the review never once stated that the animation itself was "bad". That's your opinion on the matter, & that's perfectly fine (some people just don't like limited animation), but it seems like you can't accept that something you feel is "bad" is not considered that by the person who wrote the review. She didn't have a problem with the lack of animation & it is evident that she felt that the movie utilized its limited animation to the best of its abilities, hence why she gave it an A.

Just because it's limited animation doesn't mean that the animation grade can only be of a specific range of grade.
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MetalUpa1014



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 11:27 am Reply with quote
I saw this at my local theater outside of Pittsburgh (only five minutes away from my house!) and really do think its reputation as a lost masterpiece is well earned. Seeing this thing in motion is truly a site to behold, especially on the big screen. The sexual content will undoubtedly turn heads (hopefully not away!) but I don't consider Belladonna to be exploitive for a moment. The sex and nudity aren't there just to be gratuitous, rather they actually serve the plot.

The animation, while limited, uses its limitations to its advantage and I found it to be one of the most visually stimulating anime I've ever watched. The art is gorgeous, being a cross between Western watercolors and Japanese aesthetics. The music is fantastic too, and was recently released on vinyl for anyone interested.

One thing the review neglected to mention was that the Devil was actually voiced by Tatsuya Nakadai. It's one of his few anime roles, and you hardly see Japanese stars of his caliber doing animation voice work at all. But it's definitely a memorable performance and is more proof why he's one of my favorite Japanese actors.
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MarshalBanana



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 12:14 pm Reply with quote
Lord Geo wrote:
I never said anything about the art, either, so we're just moving in circles here. Also, you're once again putting words in the review's "mouth", since the review never once stated that the animation itself was "bad". That's your opinion on the matter, & that's perfectly fine (some people just don't like limited animation), but it seems like you can't accept that something you feel is "bad" is not considered that by the person who wrote the review. She didn't have a problem with the lack of animation & it is evident that she felt that the movie utilized its limited animation to the best of its abilities, hence why she gave it an A.

Just because it's limited animation doesn't mean that the animation grade can only be of a specific range of grade.
You gave me a quote where she said the art is good "in a purely aesthetic level, almost unbelievably beautiful. I'd hang any given frame of it up on my wall.", that's art, not animation, and I never said that that her grade for the art was in contradiction. I know she never said the word bad, she cited problems with the animation, and I conveyed that as being bad, I know it wasn't the most accurate translation, but I had no idea it would be a big deal.

It's not my opinion, I have not shared my opinion on this film at all. In HER review, she cited problems with limited animation and lack of fluidity, the lack of fluid animation part is even under the negatives. yet she gave it the same score reviews have given films like Redline and Akira, films praised upfront for their animation. It wasn't even a big issue until you made it one. At the very most I was hoping she may reply and explain a little(as sometime reviewers do), if not then fine, it was only a small thing.
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relyat08



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 12:18 pm Reply with quote
I have somehow managed to miss any and all news of showings in my area. Had I known it was going to be in Philadelphia, I would have driven 3 hours north to see it. I really hate it when that happens. I can only hope it comes to DC sometime in the next couple of months.

On the visuals. I do think there needs to be a stronger distinction between "Art" and "Animation". Based on the review, it sounds like the artistry and direction is fantastic, which I love to hear. On the other hand, by its definition, this seems to lack actual animation. Scores are definitely subjective, but putting the animation at the same level as the art is a little perplexing.
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whiskeyii



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 12:25 pm Reply with quote
Personally, I've always thought of "Animation" as an indication of consistency; how consistently uniform is the animation? So for me, it sounds like there aren't any dips in quality, it's just that the whole movie uses limited animation, which is fine by me. It seems more in line with Kill-la-Kill (which knew how to use its limited animation to the best of its ability) rather than another Sailor Moon Crystal Season 1 (which had WILD variations in quality throughout its run, but often very pretty stills).

Sounds like an intriguing movie, but I don't personally think I'd be able to handle the content. That, and surrealism isn't really my kind of thing. Glad to hear it's getting a proper re-release though! More diverse anime is always a good thing.
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varmintx



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 12:41 pm Reply with quote
Really? This is the discussion the review has produced?
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rokon



Joined: 17 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 12:42 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
You say the film has very bad animation, yet you give it an A


I've seen the movie and may be biased since it's been one of my favorites for a few years now, but my take on the Animation rating is this: Yes, the actual amount of cels being animated is quite limited, especially for an anime movie (i.e. there's a lot of panning across large, though static cels). However, when there is animation, it is absolutely movie-level quality. I was never personally sure if this was due to budget constraints or was an artistic choice (though the former seems substantially more likely), but I think the way the movie handles its limited animation is quite masterful.

For example, the first several minutes of the film are again static pans over several of the film's detailed, pastel-colored images describing Jeanne's bliss with Jean and features absolutely no animation. The very first sequence we get of actual animation is when Jeanne is brutally raped by the lord of the area, making the scene doubly impactful. The staff did their best to express this stark shift in tone: a spectrum of colors vs. exclusively white, black, and red; static images vs. detailed, graphic animation.

As such, the animation, while again limited, is used artistically very well to punctuate scenes of especial importance that the staff wanted to make pop. To that end, I can absolutely understand why the film received an A for Animation if the category is meant to also encompass use of animation in addition to technical skill of animation.


Last edited by rokon on Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:01 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Lord Geo



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 12:51 pm Reply with quote
rokon wrote:
To that end, I can absolutely understand why the film received an A for Animation if the category is meant to also encompass use of animation in addition to technical skill of animation.


I apologize if I didn't exactly word it well, myself, but this is exactly what I was trying to say in my previous posts in this topic. While I will admit that ANN should probably have "Art & Animation" be a combined category for rating, so as to remove the confusion that occasionally comes about (like with this movie), I do think the "Animation" category shouldn't simply be interpreted as "Does the animation itself flow fluidly?". Instead, that should only be one of the aspects of the category, alongside the use of the animation, and (in the cases of extremely limited animation like this) maybe even some aspects of cinematography.

When animation winds up being super-limited, the camera kind of has to pick up the slack slightly, so does the product use things like pans, zooms, & visual effects, or does it simply rely on still shots too much & for too long? Are transitions utilized well? While cinematography isn't exactly "animation" when all is said & done, it should be taken into consideration when said animation isn't going to be the main attraction in an anime. I think Gabriella took this into consideration, too, like when she brought up the use of vertical versus horizontal space.
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