by Chris MaGee
A lot of people have been getting very excited about Ryuhei Kitamura and Shunji Iwai's animated sci-fi epic "Baton". Created for the 150th anniversary of the founding of Yokohama the story of a a future earth co-inhabited by humans and intelligent robots, two of which get caught up in a dangerous adventure when the discover a microchip containing a revolutionary new software called "Cipher", will be screened at the Theater Future on the bay in Yokohama from April 28th to September 27th. This came as a bit of a consolation prize to fans of both filmmakers as their long rumoured collaboration on Iwai's indi-rock drama "Bandage" fell apart quite some time ago. For me personally the idea of Kitamura directing an animated film seemed to fit perfectly with his over the top visual sensibilities and now I believe that the teaser trailer that's been added to the project's official site bears that out.
While the rotoscoping used to capture the human characters isn't quite on par with that used in Richard Linklater's "A Scanner Darkly" it does manage to give Kitamura's action that perfect comic book/ sci-fi feel. You can check the trailer out at Twitch or in a larger version at the film's official site.
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