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Tenshi no tamago (1985)

Angel's Egg — Written by vepro on 04.01.2013

After seeing Neco z Alenky few days ago, my thirst for surrealist cinema grew bigger and I remembered this anime gem that I also kept for these surrealist thirst times. Being pretty uneducated on notion about anime cinema I had no expectations from this movie whatsoever and I’m glad that’s the case.
This movie, with story so short it could fit literally in few sentences, beginning through end, is Mamoru Oshii’s only movie I’ve seen so I can’t compare it to any of his other works, but, come to think of it, I can’t easily compare it to anything I ever saw in my short existence.
The story is set in an unknown world, unknown time and unknown universe. There are only two characters (well, apart from fisherman ghosts) who wonder trough apocalyptic medieval environment (which reminded me a great deal on Devil May Cry world) where only thing that moves is the wind, ever running water and restless shadows of things past. Everything moves slow and easy, which contributes to a sense of timeless, or frozen in time universe. The characters actions seem carefully thought through, almost like an ongoing set of rituals which last in every movement.
There are only few sentences spoken in this movie, the story is short, but, combined with almost perfect animation and brilliant music score it tells as many stories as viewers can imagine. What I can gather from first viewing, it is definitely about religious questions, existence or death. That little that is spoken talks about the biblical story of Noah’s Ark, angels and demons. There are clear christian symbols used, especially on the male character; his crucifix looking weapon, stigmata like wounds on his hands, or the fossil of an ages ago deceased angel. It also can be seen as a metaphor for a clash between rational (pragmatic) and religious (spiritual) point of view, but I will most likely have to see it a few more times to develop some kind of deeper theory what it, or what I think it is about.
And I’m still just so much overwhelmed with the visual and auditory delivery of this piece of art, and this is art in it’s pure form, that I can not even begin to dig under this first layer that grasps you in the beginning and doesn’t let go long after you finish watching it. But there is indubitably a lot that this movie can offer apart from its appearance. There is a whole world of ideas, symbols, meanings and metaphors that lie there and wait to be absorbed by a viewer who decides to come back to this movie and look for some answers. I know I will.

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