LIFF28 Day Summary - Sunday 9th November - Mining Anime Day

Ben's experience of LIFF's Anime Day last year was not altogether positive and it was my turn to investigate some of the offerings this year, with a lot of Sunday's programming taken up by the strand, which occupies the Town Hall from early till late.

General consensus amongst the anime faithful certainly seemed to be positive this year and it does seem difficult to have too many complaints about programming which finishes with noted classic Ghost In The Shell (which I've never seen) and then Grave Of The Fireflies (which I have: at LIFF in fact) and populates the intervening time with some promising looking new stuff. Then again, there was also a Dragonball Z film on the schedule, which did not have me salivating in anticipation.

The best thing about first film of the day, Appleseed Alpha, was the very helpful introduction which highlighted the upstairs of the Town Hall as the comfiest place to sit for those there all day (correctly) and Barburrito as an affordable, fast local food option (also correctly). The film, sadly, was a mixture of video game clichés, dressed up in nice visuals that only made me want to grab a controller, press 'A' to skip the cutscene and get on with the play. The fact that the lead vocal guy sounded like David Hayter (Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid) did nothing to help the problem.

The second Anime Day offering I sampled, Giovanni's Island was a very interesting, if crushingly harsh World War Two meditation, which left a lot of people with something in their eye. For me, the finale rams home the melodrama a little too oppressively, though everything set on the island itself (at least the first hour) was extremely impressive.

In between the anime, I also caught Cartoonists: Footsoliders Of Democracy, which will probably go down as my second favourite film from my brief stop at the festival. I will normally always favour a brief running time over a lengthy one but this début offering from director Stéphanie Valloatto has so many interesting voices, that I could have taken a lot more of it. Given that you can add a similar epitaph to When Animals Dream from yesterday, and the fact that I've only managed a couple of days at the festival this year, and my LIFF28 is perhaps characterised timewise mainly by 'what could have been'. At least what was, was largely good.

The 28th Leeds International Film Festival runs from 5th-20th November 2014 at cinemas around the city, including Hyde Park Picture House and Leeds Town Hall. Tickets and more information are available via the official LIFF website.

By Sam Turner. Sam is editor of Film Intel, and can usually be found behind a keyboard with a cup of tea. He likes entertaining films and dislikes the other kind. He's on , Twitter and several places even he doesn't yet know about.

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