Bugmaster (Sundance Film Review)

Posted by Tim Posada On 4:52 PM
Bugmaster was the most difficult film to understand at Sundance. This film is one of director Katsuhiro Ôtomo’s (Akira and Steamboy) few live action features. It is a period piece set in a mystical Japan where people called “Bugmasters” travel and use their special herbs, potions, and powers to calm bugs that cause pain to humans. The film features two driving stories, one in the past and other in the present. The two stories are connected by the lead character. Unlike Ôtomo’s normal dose of anime, the special effects of this film are subtle. But like most anime, the storyline is thick. Many compared this film to those of Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke), this comparison is only made by people that do not know enough about Japanese cinema. The only commonality between the Bugmaster and Miyazaki’s films is the purity of nature. Bugmaster looks at the spiritual realm of creation and discusses a growing spirit that exists deep in the forest. Unfortunately, this film becomes hard to follow at this point and ends rather abruptly, thus to say more would require a second viewing.

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