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 & manga, Osamu Tezuka and directed by his long time
collaborator Eiichi Yamamoto (ASTRO BOY and KIMBA THE WHITE LION),
BELLADONNA unfolds as a series of spectacular still watercolor paintings
that bleed and twist together. An innocent young woman, Jeanne (voiced by
Aiko Nagayama) is violently raped 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.
Extremely transgressive and not for the easily offended,
BELLADONNA is fueled by a mindblowing Japanese psych rock soundtrack by
noted avant-garde jazz composer Masahiko Satoh. The film has been newly
restored by Cinelicious Pics using the original 35mm camera negative and
sound elements -- and including over 8 minutes of surreal and explicit
footage cut from the negative. On par with Rene Laloux's FANTASTIC PLANET
and Ralph Bakshi's WIZARDS as an LSD-stoked 1970s head trip, BELLADONNA
marks a major rediscovery for animation fans. If Led Zeppelin had a
favorite film, this would be it. In other words, Stairway to Hell.
New Video Interviews with Director Eiichi Yamamoto, Art
Director Kuni Fukai, and Composer Masahiko Satoh
Red Band Trailer
Green Band Trailer
16 page booklet