MIX/VHS | Week 049

Some new contributors, some returners: every week of MIX/VHS is so very different. This week, we've got a 1970s Japanese animated film, a concert of David Byrne & St. Vincent, and everything in-between. We hope you enjoy!


Belladonna of Sadness



This film is a 1973 feature film produced by the Japanese animation studio Mushi Production. I saw this film last year when Alamo Drafthouse brought this arthouse animation fully restored for a short run. Immediately drawn to the imagery of this film before knowing much about it - especially considering the comparisons with Harry Clarke's.

Breathtakingly beautiful, often eerie, erotic and disturbing (somehow all at the same time) use flowing watercolors and stark nightmare-ish imagery constantly contrasts itself while telling the story of Jeanne and Jean - a happy newlywed couple living in a rural village during an unknown Medieval period. The film takes a dark, dark turn after Jeanne is raped (and rather graphically) and begins to see evil phallic-headed spirits. Witchcraft, war, magic and the devil - this film is not for the faint at heart, but is truly a beautifully animated film through and through with a very heavy storyline to follow.

-  Faiza

David Byrne and St. Vincent | NPR MUSIC LIVE



St. Vincent (the stage name for Annie Clark) has released a new album this month, so it’s a good opportunity to focus on some of her past work. This video was recorded on a tour supporting the album Love This Giant, which Annie made in collaboration with David Byrne of The Talking Heads. But this tour brings things to a new level, with the addition of a spunky backing band. The resulting show has a sense of triumphant playfulness, as the backing band bobs back and forth in a choreographed dance. Stay for the big finish, a jazzy show-stopping take on “Burnin’ Down the House".

-  Matt

Sleepwalking in the Rift



This short film broken into a series of vignettes was devised and shot in Kenya across three days by director Cary Fukunaga. On the back of handful of conversations and a three-line treatment, Cary traveled to Africa with no script. No preconceptions. Just improvising and rehearsing on the spot and reacting to the changing landscape there and then.

-  Garrett

House of Cosbys



This is a must watch for anyone of the Rick and Morty fan base. An early effort by Justin Roiland, House of Cosbys has everything you'd expect from the visionary creator: toilet humor, comical voice acting, a ludicrous plot, and just an all around goofiness with a science fiction backdrop.  Albeit short lived, this show definitely had flickers of potential.

-  Cameron

A Ghost Story



Maybe it was the two glasses of wine. Maybe it was the incredible emotional fascination I have with films about grief and how people deal with it. Maybe it's just the goofy aesthetic of Casey Affleck walking around in a sheet ghost costume being somehow so endearing. Whatever it was, I cried like a fucking baby several times seeing A Ghost Story. So wonderfully meditative and moving and heart-wrenching all at once all the time. If there is one movie I will tout to you to watch this year, it's this one. See it. It's available on video on demand, so go get it. Now.

-  Spencer

Like this mix? Tell us what you think in the comments below, and let us know what you’re recommending for us to watch this week!