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March 17, 2018
11:55 pm
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Hosted By:
Midnight Madness


Uptown Theatre
2906 Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55408 United States

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One of the great lost masterpieces of Japanese animation, never before officially released in the U.S., Belladonna of Sadness is a mad, swirling, psychedelic light-show of medieval tarot-card imagery with horned demons, haunted forests and La Belle Dame Sans Merci, equal parts J.R.R. Tolkien and gorgeous, explicit Gustav Klimt-influenced eroticism. The last film in the adult-themed Animerama trilogy produced by the godfather of Japanese anime and manga, Osamu Tezuka, and directed and co-written by his longtime collaborator Eiichi Yamamoto (Astro Boy, Kimba The White Lion)Belladonna unfolds as a series of spectacular still watercolor paintings that bleed and twist together. An innocent young woman, Jeanne (voice of Aiko Nagayama) is violently raped by the local lord on her wedding night. To take revenge, she makes a pact with the Devil himself (Tatsuya Nakadai, from Akira Kurosawa’s Ran) who appears as an erotic sprite and transforms her into a black-robed vision of madness and desire. Extremely transgressive and not for the easily offended, Belladonna is fueled by a mind-blowing Japanese psych-rock soundtrack by noted avant-garde jazz composer Masahiko Satoh. This new digital restoration includes over 8 minutes of surreal and explicit footage cut from the negative. (Fully subtitled)