This Japanese anime anthology, from the creator of Akira, offers four shorts, all of them interesting, and in some cases quite trippy. The first short, the Academy Award-nominated Possessions, is by far the film’s best. I’m not exactly sure what happens in this segment. It involves a traveler staying overnight in a shrine and talking to spirits (I also think it’s trying to say something about hoarding). I can tell you that the animation is awesome, especially when a talking frog does a little song and dance (really weird stuff). Other segments include ancient firefighters, alien robots and majestic polar bears battling big-assed red demons. This is an enjoyable convergence of directors who know their craft, and provides a nice sampling of what the Japanese can do with the art form.
Director: Hiroaki Ando, Hajime Katoki, Shuhei Morita and Katsuhiro Ohtomo