A team of flying aces known as the Kildren lope around an airstrip smoking cigarettes, quoting Camus and looking into the middle distance in this bleak, weirdly entrancing anime from Mamoru Oshii. The root of this existential brooding, we learn, is the war these teens have been coerced into fighting between rival corporations. Despite a stunning aerial-combat opening, the film soon shifts into a sequence of slow-burning discussions during which the grim circumstances of the Kildren’s situation are revealed. Vibrant backdrops lend the film an aesthetic buoyancy, but their real function is to conceal the darkness at the heart of this most melancholy of movies.
Friday April 23 2010