It’s already been more than a week since my last entry and blogging feels so weird right now! I promised however to write about a movie I watched and wanted to share with you so here we go! I’ve seen many movies but most of them aren’t worth talking or writing about or at least that’s how I feel about them but then there are movies which are so good or so strange that you just can’t keep what you’ve seen for yourself. Tenshi no Tamago 天使のたまご is definitely a weird film.
The film came out in 1985 as a collaboration between the artist Yoshitaka Amano and the director Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell). Yoshitaka Amano is known for his illustrations for the anime Vampire Hunter D and for his character designs and image illustrations for the Final Fantasy video game. I really like his drawing style so I’m probably going to make an extra entry about his art.
Tenshi no Tamago is rather short (70 min.) but slow pacing and pretty intense. It explains little to the viewer and the subtle shades and tones and the minimalistic dialogues give the movie a dream-like atmosphere. The bleakness of the portrayed world is devastating and the silent relationship between the girl, the egg and the young man the only thing breathing life into this otherwise ghostly world.
I enjoyed watching the movie very much and was dazed by its vivid and hypnotic animation. I haven’t seen anything like this before but if I had to name something I would mention Kanashimi no Beradonna 哀しみのベラドンナ.
I’ve tried to find images of the movie by searching in English and Japanese but I couldn’t find much so I decided to watch the movie again and take screenshots. Since the movie isn’t very well known but I truly like its style I couldn’t help but taking many pictures which I would love to show you here. If you’re planning on watching the movie, don’t read on!
Tenshi no Tamago 天使のたまご
One of the first impressions the viewer gets is a drab and cloudy landscape with an egg sitting enthroned on top of a gnarly and leafless tree. Elsewhere, a soldier is standing in a surreal landscape against a blood-red sky and watches a giant ball-shaped machine landing on a wide, empty plain. The machine is covered with armored statues of women with folded hands.
Some time later a little girl with long, white hair, same-colored white skin awakes somewhere indoors and goes out. She’s always carrying a big egg which she keeps under her long dress of pale rose and pink. After a walk the girl arrives in a forest. It’s evening or already night and there are a lot of dark trees. She fills a large, round bottle with water from a pond and drinks from it.
The girl then leaves the forest and arrives in a old and deserted city. She walks around and fills her bottle from time to time in one of the plenty fountains.
She then stops her walk atop a small rise, where suddenly a convoy of tanks drives up the hill and past her. From the last tank exits the soldier who observed the landing of the giant sphere in the beginning. He has white hair tied together on the back, wears a cape over some kind of uniform and is bearing a cross-shaped weapon over his shoulders.
At his sight, the girl turns around and hides herself. Curiously she looks around the corner but the soldier has disappeared.
She strolls around the city and in an abandoned shop she finds a jar with jam. In a park in an other district of the city with more ruins than houses she takes a break and enjoys the jam. To go down to the water she leaves her egg behind.
At her return, she sees the soldier sitting on one of the stairs. Although still skeptical, she’s somewhat happy to see him. The soldier then gives her the egg and tells her to keep precious things inside herself. He asks her if she knew what was inside the egg, but she refuses to answer. She then takes the egg and quickly puts it back under her clothes and leaves.
In the next passages, the girl and the soldier walk through the seemingly deserted gothic city when suddenly grayish men carrying harpoons start running out on the streets.
The girls tells the soldier that they’re hunting fish. As the atmosphere turns more and more frenetic the girl hides under the soldier’s coat. Shadows of huge fish start roaming the city. The armed men take on the futile effort to catch the shadows of the fish that swim across the streets and buildings and endlessly throw their harpoons at them.
After escaping the uproar in this otherwise dead silent city, the girl shows the soldier where she lives. They pass a picture of a tree, which the soldier remembers from a long time ago. It’s a tree that reaches into the sky as if it wanted to grasp something, he says. The soldier then starts to tell the story of the great flood, he tells about Noah and the ark, and that the people on the ark never saw land again after the flood. They sent out a bird to find land, but the bird never returned. The girl then shows him the skeleton of a gigantic bird, the bird from the story the soldier had just told. In front of this fossil, she tells him that she had found the egg she’s always carrying and that she’s going to hatch it. The soldier asks her again if she knew what was inside but she still doesn’t answer and slowly falls asleep.
He carries her to a room with lots of empty bottles and cautiously puts her down on her bed in the middle of the room.
The soldier then sits on the ground next to the bed and waits until the fire, which was burning in this room since they came here, finally goes out. He gets up, takes the egg out of the girl’s arms, puts it on the ground and smashes it with his weapon. When the girl awakes, the soldier is gone, and as she finds the empty shell of the broken egg, she screams. Seconds later, she gets up and starts chasing the gone soldier.
Just as she almost caught up to him, she falls into a deep canyon which lies between them. As the girl falls down she sees herself as a women and when she touches the surface of the water in the canyon, she vanishes and reappears on the other side of the surface as the women.
She sinks and as she opens her mouth to catch air to breath, thousands of bubbles exit her mouth and stream towards the surface. Once reached the surface, they turn into eggs.
It isn’t said how much time goes by but the next impression is a dark and windswept sky with several eggs, each of them sitting in the spare branches of tree-like formations which soar into the sky.
As last, the soldier stands somewhere at a shore with many feathers lying on the ground. He then watches the giant ball-shaped machine lift up and this time, between all the stone figures on the surface of the sphere, there’s also see the statue of the little girl holding an egg in her leap. Centering the soldier, the camera zooms out and the landscape gets smaller and smaller and what looked like shores and land seems to be the vegetated bottom of an ark.
Well that’s it for now! I hope you enjoyed the images!
I’ll make an update if I can but I’m really busy now with studying so I can’t say when. I’ll definitely be back in March though. I can’t wait to share many more things with you!