Contemporary Artist Takashi Murakami Discontinues Jellyfish Eyes 2 Film Project
posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
World-renowned contemporary artist Takashi Murakami announced on his Instagram account on June 30 that he has discontinued production on his Jellyfish Eyes Part 2: Mahashankh (Mememe no Kurage 2) feature film due to his company facing bankruptcy. He will produce a series of videos that will "publicly announce" the film's discontinuation (the first of the videos can be viewed below).
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This spring, I streamed a series of cooking show of a sort on Instagram Live. I'm sure those who watched them were utterly confused, but I was trying to buoy my own thoroughly sunken feelings through these streamings. With the sudden swoop of COVID-19 pandemic, my company faced bankruptcy and I had to give up on a number of projects, the most symbolic of which being the production of my sci-fi feature film, Jellyfish Eyes Part 2: Mahashankh. For nine long years, I had persevered! It was a film that was to realize my childish dreams! The enormous budget I poured into this project, as well as my tenacious persistence, put a constant and tremendous stress on my company's operation for the past nine years. But at the same time, I was able to endure various hardships because I had this project. Faced with the current predicament, however, I was persuaded by both my business consultant and tax attorney that I must, simply must try and drastically reduce our business tax by filing the film's production cost as tax-exempt expenditure. To that end, I am going to produce and release a series of videos to publicly announce the discontinuation of the film's production. (To be clear, this is an entirely legitimate procedure—I'm not trying to evade tax!) These videos will be released against the backdrop of our struggle to avoid an economic catastrophe, but perhaps it may have a cathartic effect on the viewers/my followers to see the story of stupid Murakami's failure. Long story short, I'm a silly human being for whom the moment of bliss is when I am thinking my truly childish sci-fi thoughts. I don't know how many episodes the series will end up being, but a series it will be, so please come along with me on this journey for a little while.
Murakami (Superflat Monogram) made his live-action directorial debut with the first film in 2013, though the project was initially planned as animation. (It eventually became a hybrid live-action/CG film.) He was also in charge of the original story and character design, and served as executive producer. Jun Tsugida was in charge of the film's screenplay alongside Yoshihiro Nishimura, who also acted as producer and assistant director. Janus Films screened the film in the United States in 2015, and the Criterion Collection released it on home video.
While the first film debuted in 2013, Murakami had already started working on the sequel film in 2012.
In the first film, Takuto Sueoka stars as Masashi, an elementary school student who transfers schools after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster. In his new house, Masashi discovers that he can see "friends," mysterious jellyfish-like beings that adults cannot see. The film incorporates more than 900 cuts of CG animation.