Akira (1988)

Wednesday, May 4 at 7:00PM

2 hours 4 minutes


Maine Film Center

Railroad Square Cinema, 17 Railroad Square, Waterville, ME

Maine Film Center | Railroad Square Cinema presents


A series sponsored by the Colby Center for the Arts and Humanities, Colby Cinema Studies, and Colby Music.

Discussion of the film’s sound design led by Colby students in MU298B: Film Music and Sound. See the full series.

Set in Neo-Tokyo in 2019, a dystopian city devastated by World War III, Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira draws together multiple communities in the city, including motorcycle gangs, the military, psychics, and politicians. Based on the director’s manga by the same title, the film chronicles Shōtarō Kaneda’s search for his missing friend Tetsuo, who has gained telekinetic powers following a strange motorcycle accident. The music and effects were created by Shōji Yamashiro’s experimental music group Yomashirogumi and draw on music from multiple cultures: Indonesian gamelan, Balinese kecak, Bulgarian polyphony, Japanese noh, and Buddhist chants. In most modes of filmmaking, music is one of the last elements to be completed, but in animation it is more common for the music to be composed first and animators to draw visuals in synchronization with the music. Akira was also partially prescored, with significant components of the music complete prior to animation; Otomo wanted “a work of Yamashiro’s music for Akira.”

In Japanese with English subtitles.

Wednesday, May 4


Free and open to the public!

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