Interstella 5555

August 13, 2016 at 7:29 pm (7 Heads, Interstella 5555) (, , , , , , , , )

Interstella 5555 – 2003 – Japan/France

Interstella 5555 (a.ka. Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem) is a collaboration between French electronic musicians Daft Punk and Japanese manga creator Leiji Matsumoto. The film is a feature length narrative music video for Daft Punk’s album Discovery (2001).

Although there is no dialogue or narration, Interstella’s plot is surprisingly coherent. An alien rock band (with blue skin, extravagant clothes, giant hairstyles, and a guitar-shaped spaceship) is kidnapped from their home planet and brought to modern day Earth by a nefarious record company executive. They are disguised as Earthlings and brainwashed to be mindless slaves. The band becomes a chart topping pop sensation.  The record executive (who lives in a castle) is immortal and has been kidnapping and exploiting alien musical prodigies for centuries. His goal is to amass a collection of gold record trophies to use in some kind of arcane ritual. The band is rescued by a diehard fan who sacrifices himself heroically.

Interstella’s animation is attractive and the artwork (overseen by Leiji Matsumoto) has an appealing vintage style that recalls 1970s anime and manga. The characters look like sci-fi fashion models, and the space age alien cityscapes are colorful and organic. While Daft Punk’s music is occasionally repetitive on its own, it is a fantastic soundtrack to this groovy film.

Rating: 7/10 Shrunken Heads. Daft Punk has a cameo as themselves, which is to say, men dressed in robot costumes.

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