Animating the Image: Patch Work and Video Interactivity
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This chapter charts the relation between the elliptical visual style of Tsukamoto Shinya’s early films, in particular Tetsuo: the Iron Man, and the economic shortcuts of low-budget animation, which compress spatial and temporal coordinates in the frame instead of aiming for seamless continuity. Lee highlights how Tetsuo transforms these anime techniques into a live-action display of discontinuity that harnesses the interval between frames to connect cinema to then-new video and interactive technologies. It points to the importance of this strategy for invigorating the flagging industry in the late 1980s and early 1990s: by mobilizing the aesthetics of popular media to generate a low-budget, sensorial style, Tetsuo confirmed the viability, both domestically and internationally, of a visceral film practice that privileged sensation over narrative.