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Anime Masterpiece 'Akira' to Screen Sept. 24-27 at UW-Eau Claire

RELEASED: Sept. 14, 2009

poster from AkiraEAU CLAIRE — "Akira" (1998), the anime masterpiece by Katsuhiro Otomo, will screen Sept. 24-27 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The University Activities Commission of the Student Senate will present the film at 6 and 8:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday in Davies Theatre.

Otomo adapted his 2,000-page comic book saga for the film, creating an $8 million landmark of animation that Sci Fi Wire calls "an electrifying science fiction fable ... the epic that taught us anime could be great."

In 2019, 31 years after Tokyo was destroyed by what was believed to be an atomic bomb, Neo-Tokyo has sprung from the ruins. Barely under military control, the new city is beset by civil unrest and motorcycle gangs race through the streets. Tetsuo, a troubled young member of a gang led by the breezy Kaneda, is detained for psychic experiments that begin to regenerate the force that had actually destroyed the city three decades before.

"It is super-colorful, explicitly violent, intellectually provocative and emotionally engaging," wrote The Washington Post. "What makes it work is the astounding animation, 160,000 cells worth. The detail is exceptionally realistic, fluid and multidimensional, suggesting both a futuristic world and ancient quests. Otomo's neon-lit Neo-Tokyo is a marvel of post-apocalyptic tension and desires."

Digitally remastered and dubbed in English (using the Geneon/Pioneer version), "Akira" runs for 124 minutes and is rated R.

Admission is free at the door with a Blugold card or International Film Society membership. IFS memberships are available at the Service Center (715-836-3727) in Davies Center's east lobby.

More information about the campus film series is available online and at the Activities and Programs office, Davies Center 133.

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JS/DW

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