2015 theatrical, VOD, and home video re-release planned
Recently established Cinelicious Pics has announced plans to restore the original 35mm camera negative and sound elements of 1973 Japanese animated masterpiece Belladonna of Sadness in anticipation of a 2015 theatrical, VOD, and home video re-release in North America.
The last film in the groundbreaking Animerama trilogy produced by the godfather of Japanese anime & manga, Osamu Tezuka and directed by his long time collaborator Eiichi Yamamoto, Belladonna is described by Cinelicious as a a mad, swirling, psychedelic lightshow of medieval tarot-card imagery with horned demons and haunted forests.
Belladonna "unfolds as a series of spectacular still watercolor paintings that bleed and twist together like an animated version of Chris Marker’s LA JETEE."
An innocent young woman, Jean (voiced by Katsutaka Ito) is savagely assaulted by the local lord on her wedding night. To take revenge, she makes a pact with the Devil himself (voiced by 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. The film is fueled by a Japanese psych rock soundtrack by Masahiko Sato.
“It took months of negotiations to convince the Japanese rightsholders to entrust us with the original camera negative of the film which we’re restoring in-house,” says Cinelicious Pics’ President Paul Korver. “People will be simply blown away by the wild, hallucinatory images and soundtrack,” he adds. “BELLADONNA OF SADNESS belongs on a short list with Rene Laloux’s FANTASTIC PLANET and Ralph Bakshi’s WIZARDS as one of the trippiest animated films ever conceived,” adds Cinelicious Pics’ EVP of Acquisitions & Distribution Dennis Bartok. “This is a major rediscovery – and I have to give credit to Hadrian Belove at The Cinefamily here in L.A. for bringing the film to our attention.”