Title

Analyzing Angel's Egg

Lead Author Major

Asian Language and Culture Studies

Format

Oral Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Jeffery Hole

Faculty Mentor Department

English

Abstract/Artist Statement

In 1985, young animator Mamoru Oshii began an ambitious project to bridge surrealism and animation. In collaboration with the renowned artist Yoshitaka Amano, Oshii succeeded in creating Angel's Egg, which would stand as the first of many experimental animated features to come. The original video animation film presents a vibrant and dynamic landscape, accented by sparse dialogue and richly ambiguous symbolism. However, as innovative as the film was at the time of its inception, its avant garde nature fared poorly with critics, and today only a handful of hard copies still exist in market circulation. The elaborate animation and ambiguous storytelling present in Angel's Egg would not be seen again until three years later with the release of Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira in 1988, which captivated audiences and critics around the world. Today there is still little to no criticism written on the earlier Angel's Egg. My research evaluates why this particular work was passed over on the timeline of development in avant garde animation, and I draw attention to how the significantly dark color palette, the rhythm in which the story is presented, and music arrangement leave the initial viewer feeling ajar and dismissive of the film. Upon closer inspection, I argue, the film presents an intense discussion of human faith, memory, and consciousness. The film also reveals a unique circular narrative the likes of which hasn't been seen in animation since. In the aftermath of Angel's Egg, I show, most future avant garde works began to adhere to more concrete, albeit skeletal plot devices to maintain the intrigue and attention of filmgoers. Ultimately, I aim to raise awareness of this work by providing analysis and scholarly conjecture on an art piece that has lain dormant for far too long.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Room 211

Start Date

30-4-2016 1:00 PM

End Date

30-4-2016 3:00 PM

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Apr 30th, 1:00 PM Apr 30th, 3:00 PM

Analyzing Angel's Egg

DeRosa University Center, Room 211

In 1985, young animator Mamoru Oshii began an ambitious project to bridge surrealism and animation. In collaboration with the renowned artist Yoshitaka Amano, Oshii succeeded in creating Angel's Egg, which would stand as the first of many experimental animated features to come. The original video animation film presents a vibrant and dynamic landscape, accented by sparse dialogue and richly ambiguous symbolism. However, as innovative as the film was at the time of its inception, its avant garde nature fared poorly with critics, and today only a handful of hard copies still exist in market circulation. The elaborate animation and ambiguous storytelling present in Angel's Egg would not be seen again until three years later with the release of Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira in 1988, which captivated audiences and critics around the world. Today there is still little to no criticism written on the earlier Angel's Egg. My research evaluates why this particular work was passed over on the timeline of development in avant garde animation, and I draw attention to how the significantly dark color palette, the rhythm in which the story is presented, and music arrangement leave the initial viewer feeling ajar and dismissive of the film. Upon closer inspection, I argue, the film presents an intense discussion of human faith, memory, and consciousness. The film also reveals a unique circular narrative the likes of which hasn't been seen in animation since. In the aftermath of Angel's Egg, I show, most future avant garde works began to adhere to more concrete, albeit skeletal plot devices to maintain the intrigue and attention of filmgoers. Ultimately, I aim to raise awareness of this work by providing analysis and scholarly conjecture on an art piece that has lain dormant for far too long.