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Shoji Kawamori Guest at September Barbican Anime Film Season

posted on by Andrew Osmond
Season includes screenings of Macross Plus Movie Edition, Patlabor: The Movie, Ghost in the Shell, Roujin Z, Summer Wars, Metropolis, Paprika

London's Barbican centre will host a season of anime films in September, called Anime's Human Machines. It includes a screening of Ghost in the Shell (the original 1995 film) on September 18 at 8.45 p.m., which will be introduced by Shōji Kawamori, pictured right.

Kawamori is perhaps most famous for being part of the creative planning for The Super Dimension Fortress Macross anime series. He designed most of the franchise's iconic transforming "variable fighter" mecha, and oversaw most of the main installments in the franchise, including the latest, Macross Delta. He studied at Keio University with Macross character designer Haruhiko Mikimoto and screenwriter Hiroshi Ohnogi.

Kawamori also created the Aquarion, AKB0048, and Arjuna series. He has contributed mechanical design work to Patlabor: The Movie, Patlabor 2: The Movie, Eureka Seven, Outlaw Star, Ghost in the Shell, and more. He is credited as the original creator of The Vision of Escaflowne, Basquash!, and Nobunaga The Fool. He has worked in anime production as a director, screenwriter, mechanical designer, and storyboarder. Outside anime, he designed one of Sony's Aibo robot dog variants and contributed to the designs of Takara's Diaclone Car Robot toys, which eventually became Optimus Prime, Prowl, Ironhide, and other toys in Hasbro's Transformers line.

The Anime's Human Machines season will include the following screenings:

September 12 - 6.30 p.m. Tetsuo, The Iron Man, preceded by panel discussion including Jasper Sharp, Nicole Coolidge Rousmaniere and Rayna Denison.

September 14 - 6 p.m. Macross Plus Movie Edition, pictured right

September 15 - 4 p.m. Patlabor: The Movie, pictured left

September 18 - 8.45 p.m. Ghost in the Shell (with introduction by Shōji Kawamori)

September 24 - 6.45 p.m. Roujin Z (with introduction)

September 28 - 6 p.m. Summer Wars (with introduction)

September 29 - 4 p.m. Metropolis (with introduction)

September 30 - 8.45 p.m. Paprika (with introduction)

The curator is Helen McCarthy. The season is described as follows:

In 1963 Osamu Tezuka's TV series Astro Boy brought a new kind of robot to Japan. The robot child with a loving heart began a line of compelling, conflicted cyborgs whose existence challenges humanity.

Japanese animation has embraced robotics, cybernetics and artificial intelligence as major themes. More interestingly, it uses these themes to explore complex moral and social questions: humanity's responsibility for its actions, response to the other, greed, short-termism, failure to care for the ecosystem that sustains us.

Our season examines the challenge of the man-machine interface through eight films on various aspects of humanity's response to technological change. One interesting factor to emerge from these films is how our own view of technology has changed since the earliest was released. Another is how humanity still refuses responsibility for the impact of our actions. These films give no answers, but suggest responses.

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