Funky Forest: The First Contact (Naisu No Mori) (2005) Film Review – I Can’t Believe It’s Not Anime!

Funky Forest (2005) by Katsuhito Ishii is about the lives of ordinary people during a visit from an unknown alien force.

Directed by one of the minds behind the animation in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill, featuring actors Rinko Kikuchi (Pacific Rim) Tadanobu Asano (Thor) and a cameo by Hideaki Anno (Neon Genesis Evangelion), Funky Forest is a movie that does sci-fi and drama like nothing you’ve seen before. Part sci-fi, part musical, Funk Forest is a Pulp Fiction-like tube of episodic commercial adventures with the technical specs of a self-flush toilet and the heart of a sweet potato. It is Uzumaki blended in a protein smoothie with Assassination Classroom while channeling surfing the galactic tv in Rick and Morty. A lab experiment of curiosities with random sprouts of story events will have you scratching your head in the best way possible. The movie is as close to a dream as it can get.

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While the alien imagery in the film is infamous for its sexual nature (if you’ve never seen one of its clips on Youtube) believe it or not there is real heart behind the randomness. Funky Forest is a representation of the human condition at its most surreal. Most fantasy sci fi musicals can be too dark, but Funky Forest does it just right. The alien symbolism in the movie poke fun at the need to procreate because men cannot have children. Bittersweet is the need to find a partner in the main plot and the various ways we cope with our biological needs that a good amount of organic terror and mindless humor are seen like our day to day sleep walk states. A good getaway for anyone has ever been in a bad relationship or struggled in school to say the very least.

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Like peas in a pod from a great funky tree, Funky Forest says we have a lot more in common than we’d think. We should celebrate our biology and chemistry for all its worth. It is the little things in life like dance and song that unite us all, whether friend or alien. In the meantime, we should be proud of being alive, and the best way to do that is with body language. The little dance numbers in between are the some of the most fun anyone can have. You have a robot perform, a dance duet, and a symphony of forest DJs all set to some of the strangest soundtrack on this side of the planet. Electronic music, Chinese, jazz and others offer a mixed bag of musical treats in the best possible way.

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The movie is perfect for watching at the end of the day and anyone is welcome.

4 vinyl’s/ 5 vinyl’s

 

 

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