Locarno selects two manga films

Latest 'Kitaro' to receive international premiere

ROME — The Locarno Film Festival has added two live-action manga features, including the international bow of “Kitaro and the Millennium Curse,” plus vintage Japanese toons from the Shochiku stable, to its special events lineup.

This latest title in the cult “Kitaro” franchise, which began in 1959, will unspool at the Swiss fest alongside its previous installment, the smash 2007 hit “Kitaro.”

Both pics are based on a hugely popular comicbook character and are helmed by Katsuhide Motoki.

Kitaro fans will also be able to follow the adventures of the strange boy and his pals in two key episodes from the animated TV series produced by Toei Animation.

Anime enthusiasts are being served two rarities from the Shochiku archives.

One is short feature “Kumo to Tulip” (The Spider and the Tulip) made in 1943 by one of the founding fathers of Japanese animation, Kenzo Masaoka.

This will screen in tandem with Japanese animation pioneer Mitsuyo Seo’s “Momotaro, umi no shinpei” (Momotaro, Sacred Sailors), a full-length animated feature made in 1945 for propaganda purposes with funds from the Japanese Naval Ministry.

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