In Japanese with English subtitles
Masaaki Yuasa, Japan, 2004, 103min
Recommended ages 17+
Mind Game is a psychedelic explosion of unconstrained expression – gloriously colorful images ricochet in a cacophony of rapid fire associations that mimic the thought process, like Masaaki Yuasa’s brain splattered onto the screen in all its goopy glory. It makes most other animated films seem tame. Audiences will begin to grasp what they are in for early on as loser Nishi, too wimpy to save his childhood sweetheart from gangsters, is shot in the anus by a soccer-playing psychopath. The bullet travels from his ass to his brain and beyond, projecting Nishi into the afterlife where a huge 4D computer screen endlessly reprises his demise. In this limbo, God – shown as a series of rapidly changing doodled characters – tells him to walk toward the light. But our hero runs like hell in the other direction, forestalling death and returning to Earth a changed man, driven to live each moment to the fullest. What happens after this is too varied to summarize, but buckle in and prepare to surrender yourself to an exhilarating and wildly entertaining ride.
Comment: film depicts violence, sex, and sexual assault