3.18.2010

Aeon Flux / The Complete Animated Collection : 4 of 5

After watching the Aeon Flux live action film a couple years ago, I really wanted to re-watch the original animated shorts from MTV's Liquid Television that I enjoyed way back in 1991.I put this DVD collection on my Amazon Wish List right away and my pals Chris & Eliza ordered it for me for Christmas, so I'm glad to finally have it in my collection! This set includes three DVDs to present every scrap of the animated Aeon Flux, including many episodes I had never seen or knew existed, and over half of the set features commentary by creator Peter Chung with other writers and directors, making the whole experience quite in-depth and thought-provoking. The series (which was both a set of short episodes with no dialogue as well as a ten episode full-length series with voice work) is incredibly bold and fascinating, especially considering when it was produced (and it's amazing that MTV actually footed the bill, considering the often sexual and violent subject matter). I love the themes of dystopia, layers of deceit and psychological confusion, all set against a futuristic city with architecture and vehicles so detailed they remind me of Masamune's manga. Many of the stories are so bizarre and creative that I watched most of the show with my jaw wide open, and some of the plots are so intentionally off-the-wall that even the creators don't fully understand their meaning! To further confuse matters, Peter Chung makes an effort to refuse interpretation of his work (in order to allow the viewer to draw their own conclusions), although he often has to fight off the urge during the commentary. The animation style is quite angular and unique (and sometimes deformed by extreme camera angles and foreshortening), but always action-packed and smooth, and the brilliant musical score sounds like a cross between Middle Eastern culture and an 80s video game. I definitely have a new appreciation for this groundbreaking show, and it was great to relive my favorite episodes of the past as well as discover additional (and even more amazing) Aeon Flux material!

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