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‘Junkhead’ Review – Fantasia Fest 2017

Oh, what a time for festivals! The Fantasia International Festival has come and gone along with so many great indie films. The festival comes to the great white North, also called Canada. Montreal, Quebec to be exact. Fantasia Fest began in 1996 and has recently passed it’s 21st edition in 2017. The event lasted from July 15 to August 2 with over 100,000 attendees that included festival goers, guests and industry experts. There were also screenings of hundreds of films from all over the world from. was graciously invited to review some of the many movies that were there and one such film was called, Junkhead.

In an age where there are animated films like The Emoji Movie, it is easy to claim that animated cinema is dead, or at least suffering. Then Junkhead by Takahide Hori comes along and reminds us what art truly is.

Junkhead is an extended version of a short of the same name that he created a couple of years ago. The background of film is a world where the humans have connected themselves to robotics and have lost the ability to reproduce. The humans then decide to create clones as slaves but then the latter revolts to create a separate society. The backstory is even more elaborate and you are able to read the whole story through the director’s website. The actual plot begins when a human is dropped into the lower depths of Earth which is populated by the descendants of the clones. Through a series of crazy events, he interacts with various creatures in their intricate societies while also going through numerous physical and mental transformations.

There are many layers to the film and it has elements of dystopian and utopian science fiction. The designs of the characters are brilliant and we are presented a variety of   creatures. Some of them are more humanoid with rounded faces and soft features while others are frightening tentacles with copious rows of teeth. The film utilizes claymation, which is a animation style that garners both respect and admiration. Computer-generated works do deserve praise but the tedious hands- on aspect that is required of claymation takes another level of passion. Especially, when you stick around to the end credits and see that the director basically did everything.

One aspect that is also surprisingly well done is the score. It has a fun and energetic techno beat that aligns well with the tone. The action scenes become intense and the music adds another layer to it. There are times when the movie does turn into a music video reminiscent of the nineties.

Junkhead is simply wonderful. It is so deep with content and stylistically brilliant. It is also not common for a claymation story to be so intricate, yet not only is there a great backstory but the plot progression has many charming moments. Anyone who is a fan of animation and wants to see it in its most artistic form would definitely enjoy this piece.

While I highly recommend seeing the whole film, you can check out the short below:

Find tickets and showtimes on Fandango.

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