Reviews of Twilight Q (1987) and related work

Twilight Q (1987Moving picture)

An OVA series originally intended as a showcase for interesting new directors, but it only ran for two episodes. Both episodes are twisting supernatural film noir mysteries. Both have music by Kawai.

The title apparently refers to The Twilight Zone (1959) and Ultra Q (1965).

moving picture animation Japanese production fiction series

“Reflection” (1987Moving picture, 30 minutes)

Mochizuki Tomomi (director).

A teenager on vacation finds a camera under the sea. Developing the film within, she finds a picture of herself with a boy she’s never seen. Having the camera examined, she realizes that it must have drifted with the Kuroshio current from island to island for years, but its maker has yet to release that particular model on the market. While the teenager stares at the secret and impossible picture of a future self, time seems to pause around her, and a red tide of poisonous algae closes in on the island.

Romantic thriller and mystery, nostalgic SF. Strangely fascinating, albeit incoherent.

References here: Your Name (2016).

moving picture entry animation Japanese production fiction

“Labyrinth Objects: File 538” (1987Moving picture, 30 minutes)

Oshii Mamoru (writer-director).

Airplanes in the sky above an unknown metropolis are regularly metamorphosing. Predictably, traffic control loses contact with the pilots and little wreckage is found. Perhaps this has something to do with a little girl who runs to the window of her apartment when she hears another plane. A private investigator has been hired to spy on her and the man in the same apartment. One night, the investigator sneaks in and unspools the memory of the apartment’s digital typewriter, thus printing what emerges as a planned letter from the absent man to the investigator, who is joining a long line.

Mystery, superficially built on noir detective stories. Uncinematic, told mainly through still images and a monologue, though less extreme than “La Jetée” (1962). In the vein of “Ibn-Hakam al-Bokhari, Murdered in His Labyrinth” (1952) and The New York Trilogy (1987).

References here: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (2006).

moving picture entry animation Japanese production fiction