CINEMA / John Lyttle on Cinema

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Indy Lifestyle Online
All my little boy pals are Magna addicts. 'Uncle John] Uncle John]' they pipe as birthday time and Christmas time and emotional blackmail time roll around, 'can I have a Magna video, please, please, please?' And I think of the dark, brooding, futuristic landscapes that all these Japanese sci-fi cartoons share, the obsession with hi-tech weaponry, their penchant for bare breasts and graphic violence (exploding wounds, imploding heads) and of course I say 'Yes'.

Well, why not? I remember my Marvel Comics/Tales from the Crypt/Famous Monsters of Filmland phase and how the grown-ups would shake their empty heads and say it would rot my brain and give me nightmares. 'No, it's being dragged to Mary Poppins and my Gran's every Sunday which does that,' I ached to reply, stung by the implication that I was incapable of keeping fantasy and reality in their respective places. I knew what was imaginary and what wasn't. All my peers did. Except for Billy Knowles, who claimed to have amazing telepathic powers. He smelled, too.

No, it was the adults who had trouble with the fantasy-reality thing: 'If you're bad, the Bogey Man will get you.' Yeah, absolutely. Trust me on this, there is no Bogey Man - just as there is no Magna universe outside of animated frames of colour and light. So I'd gladly take my nine-year-old and 11-year-old nephews to, say, Appleseed (above) - coming to a cinema near you soon - although the certificate says 15. The violence is no worse than Grimm or the Nine O' Clock News, they already know women have breasts and, unlike their Mum and Dad, they've never been troubled by the Bogey Man.

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