COWBOY BEBOP: THE MOVIE (2001)
[COWBOY BEBOP: TENGOKU NO TOBIRA] [カウボーイビバップ 天国の扉]
Shinichirō Watanabe's seminal anime series COWBOY BEBOP is a cocktail of spaghetti Western, film noir and science fiction topped with an exquisite jazz soundtrack. With this feature-length film, known in Japan as COWBOY BEBOP: KNOCKIN' ON HEAVEN'S DOOR, Watanabe cranks the mixture to the max for a wild space ride suitable for a big screen experience. Set between episodes 22 and 23 of the original series, the crew of the Bebop — Spike, Jet, Faye and Ed — seek a 300 million woolong bounty on a terrorist planning to kill the population of Mars with an unknown pathogen. The transition from series to feature filmmaking was natural for Watanabe, who had not only thought up the film's story and main villain's characterization while working on the show, but in fact originally envisioned the series as a film. His team took a trip to Morocco for inspiration, which gave the film a different feel in contrast to the New York and Hong Kong visual influence seen in the series. The added runtime gave screenwriter Keiko Nobumoto (who passed away December 2021) room to further develop the characters. Of course, it wouldn't be COWBOY BEBOP without the music. Famed series composer Yōko Kanno returned for the project. The film's opening scene, set to the title theme "Ask DNA," is the perfect start for this action-packed anime adventure. (Note courtesy of Coral Gables Art Cinema.) DIR Shinichirō Watanabe; SCR Keiko Nobumoto; PROD Haruyo Kanesaku, Yutaka Maseba, Masahiko Minami, Minoru Takanashi, Shirō Tanaka, Masuo Ueda. Japan, 2001, color, 115 min. In Japanese with English subtitles*. NOT RATED
*Subtitled Japanese version July 16 & 17; English dubbed version July 19.
AFI Member passes accepted.
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