Mozzman Episode 3: Ladymozz and the Death of Earth (2010) – By Josh Samford

This is a project that I needed to know very little about before accepting the screener. For one, I am a massive fan of Japanese cinema, so I will accept anything from the small island nation (for whom we are all praying for in their time of need!). Secondly, when I heard that the star was named Hiro Super… how could your curiosity NOT be sparked after that? Mozzman Episode 3: Ladymozz and the Death of Earth is obviously the third part in an ongoing series starring the oddly named leading man, and directed by Cris Ubermann. The series seems to follow a very structured narrative, but in an incredibly unconventional way. While everything that happens within this continuation of the series could be explained away in only a few short sentences, the filmmakers manage to stretch this out for 14 minutes due mainly to the overdose of cinematic style. While this may rub some viewers the wrong way, I have never had a problem with experimental film and as things are, I have a lot of respect for Mozzman… Mozzman (Hiro Super) is an alien who was sent to earth on a mission but ended up crash landing his Mozzership in Japan. After surviving this, he has no memory of himself nor his mission but instead relies on his keen sense of curiosity. While wandering Japan, he stumbles across Juen (the last dreamer of Earth) who gives him a coin and informs him that he will need it. A strange moment for sure, but merely the start of a day for Mozzman. He soon meets up with a dog named Kitakitsune (the last guardian of Earth, we are told) who delivers to Mozz a ball which reminds him of Ladymozz, a mysterious woman from his past who could hold the secret to preventing the death of earth!

The look of the film is like an acid trip come to life. Using every visual filter one could possibly find, but in a very tasteful and artistic form, director Cris Ubermann manages to craft a fun piece of experimental cinema out of this strange tale of an alien visitor wandering aimlessly through the streets. What can you plan to expect from Mozzman 3? The visual style ranges. Colors are drained out in one shot and then they have their contrast ratcheted it up to the maximum level in the very next. It is consistent only in its total lack of consistency. The filmmakers seem to have an affinity for texture layering as they often place strange textures in areas that, by logic of reality, they have no place in being. In some shots you may see clouds on the ground, or half of the sky being a mess of clouds and apparent wind while on the other side things will seem bright and chipper. There’s just no telling what you will see or experience next in the strange world of the Mozzman

Although I hate to seem as if I am generalizing, but the design basis for this Mozzman character absolutely brings to life visions of Shinya Tsukamoto’s fantastical Tetsuo: The Iron Man. With his face painted grey, his hair blown out and standing up and with metallic objects sticking out from the side of his cheek, one can’t help but picture Tomorrow Taguchi or Shinya Tsukamoto from Tetsuo. Although Hiro’s nationality surely plays into things, anyone who has seen the mix of flesh and technology that was brought to life in Tetsuo will surely admit that there are few filmmakers on the planet who could possibly design something quite as outlandish as him. The design for Mozzman is of course completely and utterly at odds with everything else you will see in the short, as it is far from being a work of industrial madness as was the case of Tetsuo. Regardless of the daylight shooting and the green trees and grass shown, there is nothing mundane or regular about Mozzman and I suppose that’s what I liked about it. Different and bizarre, I hope that these shorts are some day collected into a feature length film of some sort. If you’d care to read more about Mozzman or Hiro Super, you can follow the link at

http://www.mozzup.com

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