Friday, February 12, 2010

Before Teruo Ishii's film "Screwed" came "8mm Gekiga Neji-shiki"

by Chris MaGee

There are probably more than a few of you out there who are familiar with Teruo Ishii's 1998 film "Screwed" starring Tadanobu Asano (for those of you who aren't you can read Bob Turnbull's review here). It's the story of a suicidal manga artist that goes from comic/ tragic to truly bizarre, but when you take a look at it's source material you begin to understand, at least a tiny bit. Ishii's film was based "Neji-shiki (Screw Style)", a gekiga manga by Yoshiharu Tsuge, a painfully shy manga artist who primarily worked during the 1960's and 1970's. Originally published in the June 1968 issue of experimental manga magazine Garo it's a surreal tale of a young man who crawls out of the ocean with a wound in his arm. To try and explain what happens to him after he crawls from the ocean is... difficult. Ishii managed to squeeze in most if Tsuge's original 22-page story into the final third of "Screwed", but on a recent trip through YouTube I discovered an even better way to acquaint yourself with Tsuge's groundbreaking and confounding work. It's an animated version of "Neji-shiki" made in 1976 and titled "8mm Gekiga Neji-shiki". Directed by Noboru Nōit uses Tsuge's original artwork and mixes it with miniature models and live-action footage to tell the full story form the manga in a 13-minute film. It's pretty ingenious stuff (actually if anyone out there has more details on this please leave a note in the comments or email us here at the Pow-Wow). Enjoy!

"8mm Gekiga Neji-shiki"Part 1

"8mm Gekiga Neji-shiki"Part 2

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