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29 October 2014
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An animated Japenese techno musical
15Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5system (2003)

updated 13 October 2003
reviewer's rating
4 out of 5
Reviewed by Jamie Russell


Director
Kazuhisa Takenouchi
Writer
Thomas Bangalter
Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo
Cédric Hervet
Daft Punk
Length
68 minutes
Distributor
Soda Pictures
Cinema
24 October 2003
Country
Japan
Genre
Animation
Musical


This remarkable collaboration between legendary Japanese animator Leiji Matsumoto and Parisian techno gurus Daft Punk is a visual and aural treat of intergalactic proportions.

Shot to accompany the release of the band's second album, Discovery, Interstella 5555 plays like an extended music video with only the album tracks as accompaniment to a dialogue-less story about four alien musicians who are kidnapped and brought to earth.

"BLUE-SKINNED HEROES"

Opening with a rendition of One More Time, the film kicks off with our four blue-skinned heroes being snatched from their home world by an evil record producer who brainwashes and restyles them and promotes them on Earth as The Crescendolls. Fame, fortune and awards follow, but will the band ever recover their real identities and return home?

An epic story of friendship, music and interstellar travel condensed into a bite-sized techno space opera perfect for the dance floors of club land, Interstella 5555 is a fantastic feat.

Taking classic 70s anime as its visual starting point, the film plays like a nostalgic throwback to the era of Björn-again hairstyles, psychedelic colours and flares, while its visual style plunders Leiji Matsumoto's work on influential, but obscure (by UK standards at least), anime like Space Battleship Yamato.

"DAFT PUNK ARE CLEARLY ENJOYING THEMSELVES"

Harking back to their youth - a time when cartoons like Battle of the Planets were a regular fixture on television and ELO were making sci-fi trappings cool with records like Out of the Blue (with its flying saucer/jukebox album art) - the twentysomethings behind Daft Punk are clearly enjoying themselves.

Creating an impressive synthesis of music and visuals, the album ends up echoing the film's 70s influences, from the disco-esque Too Long to the guitar funk of Aerodynamic and the robotic voices of Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.

Effortlessly cool, this is not to be missed by either fans of Japanese animation or Daft Punk's techno beats.

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