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Franz Kafka's A Country Doctor and Other Fantastic Films


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Editorial Reviews

Koji Yamamura is considered one of the greatest independent Japanese animators of this generation. Born in Japan in 1964, he has been crafting animation since age twelve by combining traditional drawings with mixed media such as modeling clay, still photography and painting. Yamamura has fashioned entirely distinctive, stunningly imaginative worlds with free-spirited creativity: trees grow out of heads, birds dream of fruit, and children are swallowed by whales.

Koji Yamamura first garnered major international attention in 2003 when his universally acclaimed Mt. Head received an Oscar® nomination for Best Animated Short Film. Yamamura is the only Japanese animator (besides the legendary Hayao Miyazaki) to ever receive such an honor.

KimStim is proud to present a collection of Yamaura's most remarkable works for the first time in the U.S., including his latest masterpiece Franz Kafka's A Country Doctor - a nightmarish, virtuoso drawing-on-paper rendering of the famed short story and winner of seven Grand Prizes at major animation festivals worldwide.

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Koji Yamamura
  • Directors: Koji Yamamura
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: KimStim
  • DVD Release Date: December 7, 2010
  • Run Time: 15124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0044HLA4A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,462 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Franz Kafka's A Country Doctor and Other Fantastic Films" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By David Crumm on December 8, 2010
Format: DVD
Thanks to Zeitgeist, this is a glorious collection from Japanese animator Koji Yamamura's career. If you've enjoyed Japanese animated features over the years---or perhaps popular cartoon series like "Astro Boy"--you may have missed Yamamura. Some of his recent works, like the Kafka story that titles this DVD collection, will provoke long discussions with friends. Some of his earlier short films are very creative little fantasies anyone--of any age--will celebrate. One such example is "Imagination," from the 1990s, which looks like an Eric Carle pre-school picturebook springing to life on the TV screen. (Don't know Eric Carle? One of his favorites in book form is The Very Hungry Caterpillar Pop-Up Book)

Yamamura developed his message, as well as his art, as he crossed into the new millennium. In recent years, he has been crafting short animated films that can best be described as calls to: Wake up!!! One such film, "Mt. Head," is the fanciful fable of a man so stingy that he eats not only fresh cherries, but the pits as well. He doesn't want those pits to be wasted! Because he is so obsessive about eating these cherries--eventually a cherry tree begins to grow from the top of his bald head! Obviously, that's where this crazy story of the stingy man explodes into what Americans would call a Tall Tale like Paul Bunyan. The rest of the stingy man's neighbors love the beautiful cherry tree atop his head--and finally he's the center of a happy community. But that just convinces the old grouch to get a "hair cut" and wipe out that miraculous tree. I won't spoil the end of the movie, but it's the kind of short film you can enjoy with any age group.
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Format: DVD
This collection works backward in time through Yamamura's career - with "A Country Doctor" being the longest, most ambitious, and most successful piece in the collection. His line-work and drawing might bring Plympton to mind, but this Japanese take on Czech surrealism stands as a mind-boggling achievement.

Working backward, we see other animations in similar visual style, but less developed. Again, some bring Plympton to mind, but I can't call any of these works imitative or derivative. We also see his earlier experiments with color: some florid, some strictly B&W, but none that really predict the subtlety and subdued palette that gives "A Country Doctor" its mood. And, even earlier, we see some charming claymation. Some looks like mixed media - clay animation against a green screen - offering visual interest and contrast that no one medium can convey.

I have to admit, I find the earlier works to be lesser works. This collection starts with the piece that really matters. What comes after isn't really a disappointment, but doesn't clear the bar that "A Country Doctor" set so very high.

-- wiredweird
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By okieinga on December 31, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
My first viewing of Yamamura's films. I like them.
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