Decoding the Apocalyptic Dream of ‘Angel’s Egg’


Welcome to The queue – Your daily distraction from curated video content from across the web. Today we’re watching a video of Mamoru Oshii’s 1985 film Angel’s Egg.

Angel egg feels like some kind of half-remembered nightmare. The kind of dream that stays in the back of your mind for weeks. It is an ink blot test of religious motives, existential philosophy and suggestive world formation that resists fortune telling while remaining eerily and inescapably puzzling.

The film is set in a dying land, where monstrous skeletons quietly collapse in bell towers while giant fish-shaped shadows swirl through the city streets. We follow an unnamed girl who leads a giant (and mysterious) egg through a rundown, war-torn city. She meets a young soldier who is interested in her … and in her precious cargo.

Angel’s Egg was a non-commercial collaboration between the equally legendary animation director Mamoru Oshii and artist Yoshitaka Amano – Perhaps best known to our readers for his work on the Final Fantasy franchise. Since its cold reception in 1985, the film has been considered one of the great artistic achievements of both anime and symbolist filmmaking.

If you haven’t guessed it already, the movie is a little difficult to understand. Before the project was produced, Oschii lost faith. And a large part of this shaken worldview and passionate search for functional colors is what Angels Egg colors. Yet even Oschii claims not to know what the film is really about.

Ultimately, even if you dig deeper, Angel’s Egg doesn’t get any clearer than … bigger. It is a film that you can sit with indefinitely, in which sense and understanding are not necessarily the same.

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Who did that?

AnimeEverday is a UK based YouTube video essay channel that specializes in this – you guessed it! – anime. They are currently out of service but have an extremely fun backlog to work through. You can subscribe to them here on YouTube. And you can follow them here on Twitter.

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