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San Sebastian to celebrate animation and Oshima

Animation and the work of Nagisa Oshima, the Japanese director behind Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence, are to feature as part of the next San Sebastian Festival.

The Basque festival has revealed the first details of its 61st edition, which will run from September 20-28.

The festival will screen all the films of Oshima, in collaboration with Filmoteca Española. 

An iconic figure of Japan’s nuberu bagu (new wave), the 80-year-old director made his debut in 1960 with Cruel Story of Youth and The Sun’s Burial.

Overtly political, his obsessions with sex, politics, violence and death made him a controversial figure with films hugely influenced by the European new wave and avant garde. During this period, he made Double Suicide: Japanese Summer (1967) and Boy (1969). 

Oshima won the best director award in Cannes with Empire of Passion (1978). His next films were European co-productions Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence (1983) and the disturbing Max Mon Amour (1986), both of which had great international impact. His last film for the big screen was Taboo (1999), about homosexuality in the world of Samurais. 

International animation

Animatopia: New Paths for Animation Cinema will screen some of the biggest international animated productions of the last decade.

The line-up will include well-known titles as Waltz with Bashir (Ari Folman, 2008), Fantastic Mr Fox (Wes Anderson, 2009) and Spanish Wrinkles (Igancio Farreras, 2011) along with My Life as McDull (Toe Yuen, 2001), The District (Aron Gauder, 2004), Metropia (Tarik Saleh, 2009) and A Liar’s Autobiography (Bill Jones, 2012).

Further titles will be announced in the coming months. 

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