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My weekend attending the Kyôto International Student Film & Video Festival 2010 was an amazing experience.

It was my first time to be invited to a film festival since high school. I did not win a prize for my film, but I am truly thankful that my little work “Life on Sirius” was among the high-level student movies of the official competition. Plus I am super-thankful for the encouragement I received through sharing time and  thoughts with the other directors from Japan, Indonesia, Poland and Korea. Most of the works I watched represented the unique and passionate world views of the creators, and though each one stood on different coordinates I felt a common understanding, or… consciousness. I could place myself as one legit voice within this community of visual expressionists, and, above all, got reassured that what I do and think is worth doing and thinking. I see one red line and one story here, which my director is guiding me on.

Ever since I left university to stumble through this irreality called Tôkyô I started feeling detached from creating movies, even though or maybe because of my work in the so-called movie industry, which focuses on anencephalous commercial cinema. However, two weeks ago I met my teacher Lee Chang-Dong in Ginza. The advice he gave me and the attendance at the Tokyo FILMeX movie festival brought me back on the right track. What do you want to say? What do you want to do? I am encouraged to bring forth the pictures in my head, to stand for my world view and to present my feelings through better and better works. You’ve got to believe in what you do and what you are. I’ve received so much encouragment. Thank you. I understand. I will continue this way from now on.

KyotoFilmFestival01

The festival lasted for a week, on Saturday there were discussions. 10 of the directors from four different countries were present.


KyotoFilmFestival02

I appreciate the strong doubts about certain aspects of my movie, stated by the jury members Aiuchi Keiji and Andô Momoko, but I also take it as great spur that my old teacher and movie critic Kitakôji Takashi (right) ranked it number 2 in the competition.

洋畫題名日本語改善政策

Spiderman4

原題 “Spiderman 4”

日本語保持復興委員會が送る、「日本語を日本語に戻す市民運動」の最新活動を紹介致します。

現代において最も権力を持つ亞米利加合衆國。その影響力は軍事や經済のみならず、我々日本人の考え方や価値観にも及び、つまり我が日本の良き古き文化が亞米利加のいわゆる”Pop Culture”(庶民文化)に乘っ取られつつあることも紛れもない事實であり、更に其の文化帝國主義の戰線にあるのは聖林(ハリヴッド)活動寫眞であります。そして其の題名がこの数年の間にもはや翻譯されずにもただ單に片假名英語として宣傳されることが多く、日本の活動寫眞が英語の題名を持つ程この美しい日本語を亂していることも確かであります。正に日本人の心に毒薬を注ぐ娯樂である一方、我が國に少なくない商賣であることも否定できません。ということで、米國活動寫眞に完全に打ち勝つまでに少なくともそれぞれの作品の題名を分かりやすく明白な日本語題名に譯することが日本語保持復興委員會の一つの大事な政策となっております。何卒宜しくお願い申上げます。

TheMatrix

原題 “The Matrix”

IndependenceDay

原題 “Independence Day”


Watchmen

原題 “Watchmen”

At the edge of a thousand dreams

How much watch? This weekend awaits the release of Kitano Takeshi’s new movie Outrage, and I will take it as a chance to make it the 1000th movie that I have watched so far!

I started a list of all movies I have ever seen when I entered la universidad. Spurred by colleagues who had watched several thousand already I researched and dug up old memories to make it as complete as possible. At that time the count reached around 700. Right now I stand at exactly 999, so there’s only one more to go for a thousand!

To be precise, I must have reached that number some time before, as there is no way of  tracking down every title exactly. There were lots of obscure flicks on tv when I was a child. I know for sure that I watched a number of Jerry Lewis movies and many Czech fantasy works, but…

Can you remember the very first movie you watched in the theater? I am pretty sure mine was Disney’s Snow White. But the two films that ignited my passion were Air Force One and Star Wars Episode IV, back in 1997. I was thirteen! And Titanic was just around the corner!

… So, what can I say after 999 films? Here are some statistics:

TIME; If you assume an average running time of 100 minutes I have watched about 1667 movie hours in total. That makes for more than two months of uninterrupted screening. The longest one was Sono Sion’s Love Exposure (237 minutes), the shortest David Lynch’s Premonitions Following an Evil Deed (52 seconds). Been blown away by both.

LAND; I watched movies from about fourty different countries, including minor places such as Senegal, Chile, Hungary, Armenia and Afghanistan…  The country outnumbering all others by far are the United States (360 films). Hollywood ist powerful. The second most are Japanese movies (195). I need to double that number! The following ranks are filled by Germany (119), Great Britain (64), France (45), and Russia (23).

MAN; The directors I’ve watched most closely are Kurosawa Akira (17 films), Steven Spielberg (13), Kitano Takeshi (12) and – oddly enough – Polish experimental artist Zbigniew Rybcyński (also 12 films).

CREAM; Standing at the edge of a thousand dreams. Of course, taste changes over time. Already Heraclitus knew that you never see the same film twice. I have been paying a lot of attention to colors and lights lately and I love movies with unique tones and a lot of darkness. So these are – without particular order – my current favorites that I can just watch again and again:

La double vie de Veronique, Chung King Express, Blade Runner, Ghost In The Shell, Der Himmel über Berlin, Se7en, La Passion de Jeanne D’Arc, La Strada, Book of Days, Zerkalo (The Mirror), Du Levande, Schindler’s List, Il Vangelo secondo Matteo, Amores Perros, Code 46, Koyaanisqatsi, Mulholland Drive… there are many more…

I needed 26 years to reach a thousand! I’ll try faster for the next thousand movies!

AThousandFilms