“A Country Doctor”: a haunting animation by Kouji Yamamura

Casually browsing youtube and creating a playlist I stumbled upon an animation of Franz Kafka’s short story “A Country Doctor” (1919) by a japanese independent animator Kouji Yamamura (山村 浩二  Yamamyra Kouji).

The animation is almost word for word retelling of the original short story but the final product bears more features of horror than its literary predecessor. Yamamura grotesquely bends the dimensions of space and plays with composition. Blurred out characters remain the focus of audience’s attention even after they lose their sharp edges. The music that accompanies the video is ethereal and controls the escalation of emotions, in other words, the animation is in charge and I suggest you give in and enjoy the lack of control you might want to have over your emotional response. The fluidity of movement reminded me very much of that which can be seen in Onibaba (1964) directed by Kaneto Shindo. Although I refer to the movement as being fluid I could not shake off an impression that something more is about to happen but as of yet my mind is unable to see it. The anticipation and suspense are at its highest points and the short movie leaves me feeling a little unsatisfied as if something inside me that was supposed to be filled was left empty.

Oh, do I enjoy this twisted ways of emotion manipulation.

You can read the original story by Franz Kafka here: http://www.kafka-online.info/a-country-doctor.html

You can see more of Yamamura’s work  here on youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fbk85Q36IAkDABhvlGCTA



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