Summer Wars: Film Festival
Samâ wôzu, Japan 2009, 114m
Director: Hosoda Mamoru
Festivals: Locarno 2009; Berlin 2010
Hosoda Mamoru's much fêted new anime pits tradition against technology when the chaos of a digital world gone awry invades a domestic idyll. His film portrays a world whose citizens are in thrall to a virtual city dubbed Oz, a carnivalesque digital playground reminiscent of the work of artist Murakami Takashi.
Math whiz Kenji spends most of his life immersed online, but one day he's whisked away to the countryside by his pretty classmate Natsuki and is soon introduced to her sprawling extended family.
When Kenji unwittingly helps someone (or something) hack into Oz and wreak real-world havoc, it falls on him and his eccentric adopted family to save humanity from the sinister online threat. - MM. "Hosoda and his team have produced scenes of animated spectacle that, in their dazzling fluency of motion and untethered brilliance of invention, makes the usual SF/fantasy anime look childish and dull." - Mark Schilling, Japan Times
In Japanese with English subtitles