Midori-Ko screens with two of Keita Kurosaka’s acclaimed short films – ‘Worm Story’ (1989) and ‘Agitated Screams of Maggots’ (2006).
Born in 1956, Kurosaka Keita is active as an animator and as Professor in the Department of Imaging Arts and Sciences at Tokyo’s Musashino Art University. Across his career, Kurosaka has explored various methods of animation including drawing, photography, and sculpture and has also produced video clips, installation pieces, and comics. Kurosaka’s films have screened widely at international festivals including Rotterdam, Berlin, Annecy, and Hiroshima.
‘Midori-ko’ (Keita Kurosaka, 2010)
In this dark sci-fi tale, 21st century Tokyo is a city at the edge of apocalypse. Little Midori is dreaming of a colourful vegetable world, but instead, as a teenager, she travels to a post-apocalyptic, surrealist, and grotesque future that looks like a Jan Svankmajer nightmare where there is a serious food shortage. Neither hunger nor her bizarre mutant neighbours weaken Midori’s vegan spirit. In the meantime, five scientists work in a lab and manage to develop “dream food”, which is both meat and vegetable. The problem is that Midori-ko – a sort of pumpkin with face and limbs – has no intention of being eaten. When Midori and Midori-ko’s paths cross, they will have to fight to stay safe from neighbours, scientists, and even their own instincts.
Japanese animation artist Keita Kurosaka needed more than a decade’s work and almost 30,000 drawings, completely hand-drawn in coloured pencils, to produce Midori-ko, a dazzling, atmospheric “paranoid fairy tale”, as it has been called. Midori-ko is its own unique kind of animated classic, one that takes today’s present day environmental concerns and puts them into realms of imagination that most of us would never have dreamed possible.
‘Worm Story’ (Keita Kurosaka, 1989)
A parody of Aesop’s fable The Hare and the Tortoise where speed and steadiness are embodied by a rabbit and an earthworm.
‘Agitated Screams of Maggots’ (Keita Kurosaka, 2006)
A music video which defies categorisation – made for the Japanese gore band Dir En Grey.