We Are Little Zombies trailer

If you thought Edgar Wright captured a video game sensibility in his movie adaptation of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, just wait until you get a load of We Are Little Zombies, the debut feature film from director Makoto Nagahisa. This movie, which centers on a group of teenaged orphans who form a band, incorporates live-action, stop-motion, animation, and all manner of visual flair to create something that’s startlingly different from what we’re used to seeing in a movie. Check out the trailer below.

We Are Little Zombies Trailer

/Film’s Chris Evangelista is quoted in this trailer, and his review from this year’s Sundance Film Festival explains why the movie’s look is so unique:

[The main character is] obsessed with video games, and as a result, the world the characters inhabit will occasionally pixelate to look like an old game, or even flat-out turn into a flip-screen overhead perspective game a la The Legend of Zelda. It’s just one of the many stylistic choices Nagahisa employs. Others include surrealist backdrops, dreamy color correction, and – most noticeable of all – a kind of frenetic, hyper-violent type of editing that will turn some off while capturing the attention of others. The camera can never sit still, and neither can the camera angle, or frame. While characters are having a simple conversation, Nagahisa will quick-cut from extreme close-ups of their eyes, mouths, hairlines before jumping back to a wide-shot and then coming right back in close again. It’s as if the film itself, in attempt to get into the headset of its teen characters, has developed ADHD.

It looks like that frenetic style is something of a trademark for Nagahisa, whose short film And So We Put Goldfish in the Pool won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2017. You can check that out in its entirety below:

Here’s the official synopsis for We Are Little Zombies:

When four young orphans—Hikari, Ikuko, Ishi, and Takemura—first meet, their parents’ bodies are being turned into dust, like fine Parmesan atop a plate of spaghetti Bolognese, and yet none of them can shed a tear. They are like zombies; devoid of all emotion. With no family, no future, no dreams, and no way to move forward, the young teens decide that the first level of this new existence involves salvaging a gaming console, an old electric bass, and a charred wok from their former homes—just enough to start a band-and then conquer the world. Tragedy, comedy, music, social criticism, and teenage angst are all subsumed in this eccentric cinematic tsunami.

We Are Little Zombies will be released theatrically by Oscilloscope “sometime soon…we hope!”

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