17th Animation Division Excellence Award
Animated short film
INABA Takuya [Japan]
*Golden Time* is set during Japan’s 1980s economic boom years. One day, a 1960s television used for many years is thrown away at a junkyard. But the TV set won’t accept that it has been discarded for good and attempts to break out of the junkyard. This short film is a life-affirming tragicomedy depicting the fate of the TV as if it is a human being. With its high caliber script, direction and character design, and by removing dialogue, the film attempts to create pure visual expression solely through a harmony of animation, sound effects and music, aspiring via classic narrative and analog animation to offer a new kind of entertainment.
Reason for Award
INABA Takuya honed his skills through such work as NHK-BS’s Nanamichan and has here created a tour de force of assured character design and superb storytelling. Without a single word of dialogue, the film vividly portrays each character’s personality and emotions through their movement and body language. From the Showa-era landscape of old TV sets to natural phenomena such as the light from a starry sky, the wind and magnetic force, the scenic rendering is brilliant. The sound effects are also superb as important elements in profiling the anthropomorphic characters, while the “woodenness” of the protagonist and the windup cuddly toy cat’s laugh are just perfect. I want as many people as possible to see this film. At a mere 20 minutes, it’s a rare thing for a film as well crafted as this to be made commercially. Following the studio’s earlier La Maison en Petits Cubes, I applaud this new production. (WADA Toshikatsu)