A long lost masterpiece of psychedelic ‘70s animation is being brought back from oblivion, and now thanks to Cinelicious Pics, SpectreVision and The Cinefamily you can watch a new trailer Eiichi Yamamoto’s controversial 1973 film, Belladonna of Sadness. The provocative adult-targeted anime has been restored in 4K for its first-ever U.S. theatrical release.
Belladonna of Sadness is a mind-bending, sensual story about an innocent young woman named Jeanne who makes a pact with the devil (voiced by Tatsuya Nakadai from Akira Kurosawa’s Ran). The animation draws on numerous classic and contemporary artistic inspirations flashing to the beats of Japanese psych rock composed by Masahiko Satoh. The picture was the last in the adult toon Animerama Trilogy produced by Osamu Tezuka and has been restored by Cinelicious from the original 35mm camera negative and sound elements — including over 8 minutes cut from the negative.
The restored Belladonna of Sadness will open May 6 at the new Metrograph theater in New York, San Francisco’s Alamo Drafthouse and at The Cinefamily in Los Angeles the week of May 13, with a national roll-out to follow. Accompanying the release is a book from Hat & Beard and Cinelicious: Belladonna of Sadness: A Companion to the 1973 Cult Japanese Anime Film. The book features first-ever in-depth interviews with Yamamoto, illustrator Kuni Fukai and composer Satoh, plus color art reproductions and interviews with the restoration artists.
The regular and Limited Edition (including Blu-ray, poster, pins and more) of the book are available for preorder on Hat & Bear’s website.