Midnight: The iPhone 15 Pro-shot action film by Takashi Miike

Takashi Miike, the acclaimed Japanese director of films such as Audition, Ichi the Killer, and 13 Assassins, has surprised his fans with a new short film, titled Midnight, that was shot entirely on an iPhone 15 Pro. The film, which was released on YouTube by Apple, is a stunning adaptation of a manga by Osamu Tezuka, the legendary creator of Astro Boy and the Godfather of Manga.

Midnight is a 19-minute action film that follows a psychic taxi driver, who has a futuristic car full of gadgets, and a young girl, who inherits her father’s trucking company, as they are chased by assassins hired by the Yakuza. The film is a mix of live-action and manga illustrations, and features Miike’s trademark style of fast-paced action, quirky humor, and violent villains. One of the assassins, for example, has a puppet as his partner and brother, who is equally ruthless and bloodthirsty.

The film is also a showcase of the iPhone 15 Pro’s capabilities, as it captures the vibrant colors, the dynamic movements, and the intricate details of the scenes, with impressive image stabilization and quality. The film also uses the iPhone 15 Pro’s features, such as the night mode, the ultra-wide lens, and the cinematic mode, to create different effects and moods. The film is a testament to the iPhone 15 Pro’s potential as a filmmaking device, as well as to Miike’s creativity and skill as a director.

The film is a tribute to Miike’s idol, Osamu Tezuka, and his lesser-known manga

Midnight is based on a manga by Osamu Tezuka, who is widely regarded as the Godfather of Manga and the pioneer of the anime industry. Tezuka is best known for his iconic works, such as Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion, Black Jack, and Phoenix, which have influenced generations of artists and storytellers. Tezuka is also known for his prolific and diverse output, as he created over 700 manga titles and 200,000 pages of comics, covering various genres and themes.

Midnight is one of Tezuka’s lesser-known works, as it was published in 1986, near the end of his career, and was never completed. The manga is a sci-fi thriller that follows the adventures of Midnight, a mysterious taxi driver who can see the near future, and his passengers, who often get involved in dangerous situations. The manga is a departure from Tezuka’s usual style, as it features more realistic and mature characters, and a darker and grittier tone.

Miike, who is a fan of Tezuka’s works, said that he wanted to pay tribute to his idol, and to introduce his manga to a wider audience. He said that he was fascinated by the concept of Midnight, and that he wanted to capture the essence of Tezuka’s storytelling, which was always full of surprises and twists. He said that he also wanted to honor Tezuka’s legacy, which was to challenge the boundaries of the medium, and to create something new and original.

The film is the latest collaboration between Miike and Apple, and the first between Blumhouse and Lionsgate

Midnight is the latest collaboration between Miike and Apple, as the director has previously made two other short films for the Shot on iPhone series, which are also available on YouTube. The first one, titled Life, was shot on an iPhone 7 Plus in 2017, and the second one, titled No Sleep, was shot on an iPhone 11 Pro in 2019. Both films are also based on manga, and feature Miike’s signature style of horror and comedy.

Midnight is also the first collaboration between Blumhouse and Lionsgate, two studios that are known for their horror films. Blumhouse is the studio behind successful horror franchises, such as Paranormal Activity, Insidious, The Purge, and Halloween, as well as original films, such as Get Out, The Invisible Man, and Fantasy Island. Lionsgate is the studio behind popular horror films, such as Saw, The Cabin in the Woods, The Hunger Games, and Knives Out.

The film is part of a new distribution deal between the two studios, which will see Lionsgate releasing several Blumhouse films in the next few years. The deal is expected to bring more horror films to the big screen, and to cater to the diverse and loyal fan base of the genre.

Midnight is now available to watch on YouTube, and is rated PG-13 for violence, language, and some suggestive material.

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