Animator Fujio Tanabe Makes the Darkest-Ever Short Film About Home Refrigeration

Japan Cuts, New York's annual festival of Japanese cinema, kicked off last night with a screening of Naomi Kawase's Cannes-winning The Mourning Forest. The fest runs through July 13th, and this year's slate is particularly impressive, featuring not only the Kawase but also new work from the likes of Shinji Aoyama, Shunji Iwai, and the irrepressible Takashi Miike. As luck would have it, they're also screening a whole bunch of awesome short films. Directed by the Osaka-based illustrator and video artist Fujio Tanabe, the animated Fridges is one of our favorites: It starts off as a touching little film about a luckless, abandoned refrigerator trying to get by in the world, but gradually turns into something way more surreal and disturbing — as if a Pixar movie had been hijacked by Charles Bukowski. Fridges screens as part of Japan Cuts' "Digista Vol. VI" shorts program. You can see their entire lineup here. —Bilge Ebiri