Janus Films will open its latest arthouse gem, “Jellyfish Eyes,” on July 15 at New York’s IFC Center for a day-and-date digital release, with a national rollout to follow.
Known for his ocular aesthetic and pop-art-inspired wall installations, Japanese mixed-media artist Murakami’s filmmaking debut “Jellyfish Eyes” is already part of an in-the-works trilogy and has a sequel underway. (Watch the eye-popping, insane trailer for the film here.)
Like his contemporary visual art, Murakami’s colorful film — which name-checks “ET” and “Star Wars” among other fantasies — juxtaposes cute-and-cuddly with grotesque. Blending CGI and live-action, “Jellyfish Eyes” follows a young boy who moves to a small city in the Japanese countryside. But Masashi soon discovers that inside the apartment he shares with his mother lives a tiny monster, and that beneath this strange city is a sordid bedrock of conspiracies, cults and evil experiments.
Fun fact: In 2007, Murakami designed album artwork for Kanye West’s album “Graduation,” and applied his signature animation style in directing West’s “Good Morning” video (watch below). West vaingloriously said that his song “Runaway” made Murakami cry.