Peter Chung. He’s the kinda guy that thinks out of the box. The guy who does stuff that has ‘unmarketable’ written all over it. Okay, I was kidding about that last bit. But honestly, did anybody besides Peter Chung fans enjoy the extremely underrated Animatrix’ animated feature ‘Matriculated’? (Animatrix is the animated tie-in to the Matrix Trilogy franchise)
Well, I liked it. At first, I thought it was the weakest (or weirdest) of all the features in the Animatrix series, but I realized it was the one with the most… depth. Multiple viewings afforded me a better understanding and appreciation with the characters and the setting. That’s the beauty of this whole ‘multi-layered’ narrative. If done right, you get achieve mainstream hits like Robotech (the original 1985 animation) and Half-Life. Works like Matriculated are of the same narrative fold, but in my opinion have a more acquired taste.
So lets talk a look a look at Peter Chung. His career started way,waaay back in the 1990’s, with his breakout hit ‘Aeon Flux’, but like his works, the story is much deeper than that.
A brief background about Peter, straight from the horses’ mouth.
"I was always into animation. I studied animation at CalArts [California Institute of the Arts]. I've actually been making animated films since I was 16. It was always what I wanted to do and I got my first job when I was 20 and I've been doing it ever since. I always knew that what I wanted to do was to create characters and write stories - do the whole thing, you know, write, design and direct. It took a while. It took about ten years of working in the industry doing other things like learning the craft, doing storyboards and designing characters, before I finally got to write and direct my own character which was Aeon Flux."
Wow. And I’m 22 and I have a career that is nowhere near art-related, and I continuously talk about modern visual culture in a place where... err… moving on.
Peter Chung's has had a long, successful, though frustrating career. Based on what little I could read about the guy, it almost seems as if he hasn't worked on anything he really enjoyed since his breakout hit Aeon Flux. Oh sure, he's done the occasional commercial work and animation jobs for big Hollywood and Animation studios, but I wonder if, given the opportunity, he could create something as amazing as Aeon Flux.
Alrighty then, what the hell is Aeon Flux? Is it some character played by Charlize Theron? (Hell, no) I'm assuming you don't know, reader person. While I would be glad to reference Wikipedia again, as I always had in the past, I want you, dear... person... to experience it. What is Aeon Flux? Aside from being a show back in the 1990's, what exactly was it? Here's the intro: