Jellyfish Eyes by Takashi Murakami

Murakami’s directorial debut tells the story of Masashi, a young boy who moves from an evacuation center to a small town where he dreams of feeding string cheese to jellyfish while talking to his deceased father. On the first day of school, Masashi discovers that every child gets his or her own remote-controlled Friend (with a capital F), including himself. The little spirit animal/golem-type creatures are part of an evil plot designed to suck up all the kids’ negative energy in order to summon a “supra-universal power,” and in typical Murakami style, there’s a wide range of fantasy creatures, from the utterly hideous to the unbelievably adorable. On one end, Masashi finds a slimy lizard-type thing and a six-legged monster with an anvil for a head; on the other, there’s a massive bunny called Luxor and the eponymous Kurage-bo, or “Jellyfish Boy” — Masashi’s own beloved Friend.

The film evokes primal emotions of childhood, such as irrational fear and profound sadness, while also recalling Japanese giant-monster cinema of the 1950s. Just as the older movies served as a visual commentary on post-World War II, radiation-fueled angst, Jellyfish Eyes addresses similar fears reignited after Japan’s earthquakes and tsunami of 2011.

(Takashi Murakami, known for his work - samples below - and collaboration with Louis Vuitton)

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