Otomo, Akira

Otomo’s “Akira” is a great film of cities. During the famous motorbike battle, the action of the battle itself melts into the larger chaos and hubbub of the city. Neo-Tokyo as organism. Within all the urban tumult, Otomo also includes many pockets of quiet and intimacy. We get a good one during this sequence, when Tetsuo wipes out and has to restart his bike, but there are many, many others throughout the film– Kaori’s lonely visit to the laundromat, or Kaneda’s makeshift funeral for Yamagata, for example– which resonate with the hush of the film’s most cataclysmic moments.

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