The expectation for the new work by Makoto Shinkai is awfully high among the cinema, literature and animation fans all over the world, not only in Japan. To classify him as an animator or a filmmaker is not enough. His beautiful images where lights seem to be dancing are breathtaking; he is able to describe the shades of a delicate heart set in the placid background of an ordinary day. His works describe dramas through a discreet and essential narration.
When the characters’ feelings are expressed through his beautiful artistic images and expressions of light, our own feelings identify with theirs. In Shinkai’s works, a beautiful sky may represent a background piece of art for the ever changing thoughts of the characters. Shinkai grasps all sensations that young people are able to create – although maintaining a certain distance – with the world around them, describing them heartily and carefully. Moreover, we can easily share that world, because its description offers us the possibility to investigate even its smallest elements, usually difficult to catch. But Shinkai’s work is not limited to the description of ‘the heart of the youth’. At the same time, his tough writing and expressive tools can be delicate: in an apparently conventional animation work “something” never shown before may unexpectedly surface. Interestingly, Shinkai is able to easily switch from shorts to feature films, and his art is not limited to cinema but embraces commercials and videoclips, as well
The works selection for Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival has been suggested by Shinkai himself and consists in three shorts (out of five). One is his first work, the black and white “She and her cat”, followed by “Voices from a distant star” which caused a sensation in the animation industry when it was released and “5 cm par second”: the Japanese perception of the world is the common thread linking these three shorts together. The program also includes the preview of some of his feature films, including the latest “Garden of words”. Just as I am writing this presentation I learn that we have been given the consent to screen the commercial he realised for the “Taisei Corporation Bosporus”. Makoto Shinkai started working alone on a computer. According to what he stated in his interviews, he was able to easily depict light effects thanks to the digital system, and he also added that at the beginning of his career it was through the Internet that he had managed to show his works.