Funky Forest (2005) by Katsuhito Ishii is about the separate lives of ordinary people during a visit from an unknown alien named Pico Riko.
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 so well that it is similar to nothing else 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 its random sprout of story and events will have you scratching your head in the best way possible. The movie is as close to a dream as it can get.
Believe it nor not, while the alien imagery in the film is infamous for its sexual nature, there is real heart behind the madness that make it seem less like a gardener’s nightmare and more like an alien brother that hasn’t yet matured. The alien symbolism are used to 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. Funky Forest is a representation of the human condition in its most surreal. Most fantasy sci fi musical movies can be too dark, but Funky Forest does it just right with a good amount of organic terror and slow humor one would find in their day to day sleep walk states. A good getaway for anyone has ever been in a bad relationship or struggled in school. The aliens can be calming to say the very least.
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. It is the little things in life that are worth keeping like dance and song. In the meantime, we should be proud of our bodies and express ourselves the best we can. The little dance numbers in between are the some of the most fun anyone can have. You have a robot dance performance, a dance off between a couple, and a symphony of forest DJs. All set to some of the strangest soundtrack on this side of the western ear. Electronic, Chinese, jazz among others offer a mixed bag of musical treats in the best possible way.
The movie is perfect for watching at the end of the day… the fat kid can come too if he wants.
4 vinyl’s/ 5 vinyl’s
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