Tatsumi is the surname of a Manga giant: Yoshihiro Tatsumi. Eric Khoo pays homage to this man of images with an animation film presented in Un Certain Regard. The director returns to Cannes five years after My Magic, presented In Competition.
Yoshihiro Tatsumi is one of the unavoidable figures of Mangaka culture. As a precocious teenager he started publishing his work and very quickly had a style of his own. On his drawing board, suffering and despair were made plain: this was the founding moment of Gejika, a dramatic Manga style for adults.
"I was extremely moved by the passion and love he has for his profession," Eric Khoo admits. While having described the working class area of Singapore in several of his films, the director leaves behind familiar territory and strives to draw the portrait of Yoshihiro Tatsumi. The two men meet in Japan, in the basement of an old coffeeshop. Eric Khoo gets the green light.
He then decides to go back over the life of Mangaka in animated images. Tatsumi also brings five cartoon films to the big screen, those which have made an impression on Eric Khoo. From the ruins of Hiroshima to the marginal worker, from the adulterous woman to the alcoholic prostitute, this is a disenchanted Japan that Tatsumi weaves together. From the drama of the intrigue, to the colour and genius of the drawing, Yoshihiro Tatsumi has been recognised as one of the greatest Japanese artists by the New York Times.
Tatsumi is screened at 10pm, Salle Debussy