Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ryuhei Kitamura nd Shunji Iwai to team up for "Baton"

by Chris MaGee

Now before you say, "Chris, you mean "Bandage", right? Kitamura's been off that project for awhile now," read on. Todd Brown at Twitch has got word of another collaboration between the men behind "Versus" and "All about Lily Chou-Chou" which is not the story of a Japanese rock band in the 90s. No, this time out Ryuhei Kitamura will be directing a 50-minute animated film produced by Shunji Iwai.

Titled "Baton" the film is being produced in conjunction with American animation company Studio Titmouse as part of the commemorative celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the founding of Yokohama. No word on plot specifics, but apparently the film will be using rotoscoping, tradition 2D cel animation and 3D computer graphics. You can get a taste of what you'll be seeing from the promotional still above courtesy of

Now I've never been a huge fan of Ryuhei Kitamura. I find his style to be a bit too exaggerated, hyperactive and needlessly flashy for my liking, but what other attributes would you want in an animated film?! I think that this could be a really nice fit for him and with the help of Iwai this could be a really fun piece of work. Sadly we won't be able to take a peek at this for a while. It will be premiering in Yokohama on April 28th and then your guess is as good as mine as to when (or if) us North Americans will get a chance to see it.

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