Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Kanashimi no Beradona (1973)
Belladonna, literally "Belladonna of Sadness," also known as "The Tragedy of Belladonna" is an art house animation feature film produced by Mushi Production. Directed and co-written by Eiichi Yamamoto and inspired by Jules Michelet's non-fiction book Satanism and Witchcraft, it is the third and final film in the Animerama trilogy and the only one to be neither written nor directed by Osamu Tezuka (he left Mushi Production during the film's early stages to concentrate on his comics and his conceptual-stage contribution is uncredited). Belladonna is also of a more serious tone than the more comedic first two Animerama films. Its visuals consist mostly of still paintings panned across and are strongly influenced by western art, particularly Aubrey Beardsley, Gustav Klimt and classic tarot illustrations. The film was a commercial failure and contributed to Mushi Pro becoming bankrupt by the end of the year.
It follows the story of Jeanne, a peasant woman who is raped which leads to her being accused of witchcraft, and is notable for its graphic and suggestively erotic, violent and psychedelic imagery.
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