* Contains no plot spoilers
This is a fun, glamorous, art-heist caper in anime. If that makes sense. Directed by Slovenian Milorad Krstić, it features tiny love letters to his home country in the finer details of the film. And this is a film of beautifully rendered and amusing details. The animation is just awe-inspiring and exquisite.
The story is of Ruben Brandt, an art therapist who begins to have vivid nightmares where he gets attacked by paintings he loves. This is a light-hearted film, but it’s not overly silly, it retains a sense of seriousness, while still being playful.
There are loads of references to arthouse films and the ridiculousness of the art world in this movie. It’s fast-paced and action packed and involves a cast of insanely quirky characters that couldn’t be in real world movie, which is why the anime version is so much more interesting.
Art from Warhol, Velazquez and Gauguin are vividly brought to life in the most creepiest way possible, and people look like strange Picasso-esque half-humans. Alongside all of the surreal dreamscapes is a pacey romance-comedy-thriller. This is one of the best movies I saw at the New Zealand Film Festival this year.