Memories: Magnetic Rose (1995)

4 stars

Magnetic Rose is a wonderfully chilling sci-fi short film directed by Kôji Morimoto (best known for his work in Akira). The film follows what happens when a deep space corporate freighter is called upon to investigate a distress signal from a supposedly derelict space station. Exploring concepts surrounding rogue AI and memory engrams, the film is tense, atmospheric and thought provoking. The classic 90s sci-fi feel is topped off with a grandiose classical score. 

Paprika (2006) 

4 stars

Paprika is a psychedelic ride through the world of dreams by director Satoshi Kon. A machine that allows therapists to enter their patients’ subconscious falls into the wrong hands, causing the dream world to merge with reality. The film can be difficult to follow at times, but the sheer spectacle of it all captivates you throughout. The film features some stunning visuals, surreal imagery and a complex storyline that will leave you scratching your head.  

Redline (2007) 

3 stars

Redline is a loud and highly stylised action film directed by Takeshi Koike. The film follows the most popular racing event in the galaxy, the Redline, and the various racers who compete in it. This movie follows the “rule of cool” to a T, but what it lacks in plot, it makes up for in visual flair and spectacle. With high stakes and an animation budget to match, Redline is truly a wild ride, so strap in and enjoy. 

Garden of words (2013)

3 stars

Garden of words is a comfy slow burn about a student and a teacher who start an unlikely friendship one rainy day in the local botanical garden. Directed by Makoto Shinkai, the film showcases a great attention to detail, both in creating ambient environments and in portraying subtle character emotions. With drama, romance, beautiful settings and a phenomenal score, this is the perfect film for a rainy day. 

Joshua Hunter
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