Category Archives: Movies

Visual Documentary Project Screening Event in Kyoto

Mario Lopez writes, “Are you free on the 15th December? We have our 5th Visual Documentary Project Screening in Kyoto! Come if you are around!


VISUAL DOCUMENTARY PROJECT 2016:
POLITICS IN EVERYDAY LIFE IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

SCREENING DETAILS:
Date & Time: December 15, 2016
Admission: Free
Venue: Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University Inamori Memorial 3rd floor, Large Meeting Hall
Language: Japanese / English Translation
Organizer: Center for Southeast Asia Studies
Co-organizer: The Japan Foundation Asia Center

PROGRAM
13:30 Women of the Forest Director: Inshallah P. Montero (Philippines & Malaysia)
14:00 Mother and Son Director: Thwe Myo Nyunt (Myanmar)
14:30 60 Days Directors: Htut Ye Kyaw, Pyay Maw Thein, Sett Paing Aung (Myanmar)
15:15 Break
15:30 Vein Directors: Htet Aung San, KO JET,Phyo Zayar Kyaw (Myanmar) 16:15 Discussion

COMMENTATORS
Ishizaka Kenji, Programming Director, “Asian Future” section at Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) / Professor, Japan Institute of the Moving Image (JIMI / a.k.a. Imamura Shohei Film School)
Wakai Makiko, Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Tokyo Office

ABOUT THE PROJECT
Southeast Asia is rich in its diversity of ethnic, religious and cultural composition. The region has maintained the coexistence of such diversity while at the same time achieving economic progress and becoming a hub for the flow of people, goods, money and information. Yet at present, the region is also confronted with serious issues such as the decrease of biodiversity and tropical forests, disasters, pandemics, aging population, ethnic and religious conflicts, economic differentiation and poverty. In the face of this, how is coexistence and sustainability possible despite the diversity that exists? How can we make public resources out of the region’ s social foundations which are the basis of people’ s everyday lives? And, how can we connect these in a complementary way to existing systems of governance towards solving the problems and issues mentioned above?

In order to address these questions in the context of Southeast Asia, the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University has initiated “Visual Documentary project” which explicitly examines everyday life through a visual approach since 2012. This project aims to use visual forms of expression to complement the growing literature that exists on Southeast Asian societies. From 2014, the Japan Foundation Asia Center joins this project as co-organizer to help widely promote the richness of Southeast Asian cultures to people in Japan. As of 2016, the project has linked up with numerous film schools in the region to help strengthen the documentary filmmaking network.

For more information click here: https://sea-sh.cseas.kyoto-u.ac.jp/en/vdp2016/#screening

Silent Movie Screening at The Toy Film Museum, Kyoto; 12th September 2015

There will be another silent movie screening at the Toy Film Museum on September 12th, with (Japanese) narration from regular 活弁士 (katsubenshi), Kataoka Ichiro. Three films will be shown starring the legendary Matsunosuke Onoe who was Japan’s first big movie star. This particular event is being held to celebrate the 140th anniversary of his birth.

The show starts at 3pm and costs 1700 for entry.

無声映画の夕べ

The Toy Film Museum – おもちゃ映画ミュージアム

IMG_0262 (Medium)

Kyoto’s newest museum, the Toy Film Museum,  opened on May 18th 2015 on a tiny little side street just off Koin Doori in the Mibu area. I ventured down there shortly after it opened to see what it was like. My general feeling after visiting is that the place has a lot of potential, but if you are not fluent in Japanese and/or super interested in old movies then this place isn’t really for you. I am interested in old movies, so I really liked the place, but I would understand if it wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea. However, they will be holding events, talks and movie screenings there, which may be of more general interest. More about the events later. First here’s what I found when I visited:

* It’s in a cute old machiya building, but at present only a small part of that building contains exhibits.
* The main exhibits are antique cameras and home movie projectors. These are not individually labelled with information.
* I was given a print about the contents of the museum and there is some information on the surrounding walls about movie history but naturally this is all in Japanese.
* Likewise the staff only speak Japanese, but they are super friendly, and they very kindly gave me a cup of coffee and a biscuit!
* There are some toys and toy projectors you can play with, but by themselves they are probably not enough to warrant the 500 yen entry fee.
* They also have some old silent movies on show on a TV screen hooked up to a computer. These seemed to be mostly swashbuckling samurai chambara movies, which back in the golden age of Japanese movie making were as popular as Hollywood westerns.

Some of those old timey projectors.

Some of those old timey projectors.

I rather enjoyed talking with the people at the museum who were very happy to talk about old movies with me. It’s also nice to see this aspect of Kyoto’s heritage being celebrated. Kyoto has a long historical connection with the movie industry, Japanese movie making was basically born here, and during Kyoto’s movie-making heyday in the 1930s the local studios at Uzumasa were knocking out 4 movies a month. Remember, in those days, people didn’t have TV, so movies were the most popular form of entertainment and showings were always packed.

IMG_0251

Some of the exhibits at the Toy Film Museum.

During the silent movie era, Japan had a rather unique way of presenting movies. In addition to musical accompaniment, there was also a narrator, called a 活弁士 (katsubenshi). Like the very best storytellers, this narrator wouldn’t just explain the action on screen but would give voice to the characters and really bring the movie to life. Some of these narrators were extremely popular in their own right and people would go as much to enjoy the katsuben performance as to see the movie itself.

Now this brings me to an upcoming event at the Toy Film Museum which presents a unique opportunity to enjoy a silent movie screening in an old-timey Japanese style. As I wrote above, the organizers of the museum are planning to hold some talks and old movie screenings at the venue and there is a special movie screening coming up this Sunday on June 14th. The movie is called 僕らの弟 (Our Little Brother), a 1933 movie by celebrated screenwriter Yoshitaka Yoda, and it will be narrated live by expert movie narrator, Kataoka Ichiro. You can read more about the movie in the flyers which I shall post below. The fee for entry is 1,700 yen and the doors open at 18.30 for a 19.00 screening. Of course the whole event is in Japanese, but if your language skills are up to scratch this could be a really entertaining event. And if they aren’t up to scratch, well it’ll be good practice for you. Here are those (clickable) event flyers.

僕らの弟_表 僕らの弟_裏

Location: The Toy Film Museum is on a tiny side street on the east side of Koin Doori: the diagonal street that runs betwen Shijo Omiya Station and Nijo Station. The side street is easy to miss but there’s a shop with a sign reading “National Bicycle” just opposite and a Toy Film Museum sign to point the way. You can find a map here: MAP.
Address: 〒604‐8805
京都府京都市中京区壬生馬場町29-1
Telephone Number: 075(803)0033
Website: http://toyfilm-museum.jp/

Many thanks to Akira Yamamoto for posting about the Toy Film Museum on the Deep Kyoto Facebook Page, and to the folks at the Toy Film Museum for keeping me posted on events.

Parasophia: A Major Festival of Art & Culture in Kyoto Starts this Week!

parasophia

Well, this looks interesting, doesn’t it?

Parasophia: Kyoto International Festival of Contemporary Culture 2015
March 7–May 10, 2015

Parasophia: Kyoto International Festival of Contemporary Culture 2015 is the first large-scale international exhibition of contemporary art to be held in Kyoto.  Approximately 40 artists from around the world will participate in the two-month exhibition at the Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, the Museum of Kyoto, and other locations. Many of these artists will also have taken part in the 700 days before the exhibition, making extended visits to Kyoto for site visits, collaborations, and other research for new works that will be presented at the first exhibition in 2015.

To find out more about the schedule and location of events and exhibitions please visit the official Parasophia site.

Parasophia is also on, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Instagram.

People & Nature in SouthEast Asia: A January Screening @ Kyoto University

via Mario Lopez,

On January 14th 2015, there will be a film forum at Kyoto University to screen five documentaries by independent, young film-makers from Southeast Asia on the topic of people and nature. All of the films are subtitled in both English and Japanese.

poster (Medium) (Medium)

Click to download this poster.

From the sky to the mountains, forests to mangroves, fields to orchards and animals to insects,what is the relationship between people and nature in Southeast Asia? How do people connect with their environments? In what ways do they think about, feel, touch, speak and share their surroundings in their societies, and through their cultures? This year, the visual documentary project presents five short documentaries, by young Southeast Asian filmmakers in the region,selected by an international committee for screening in Japan.

Date: January 14th, 2015
Time: 13:30 – 18:00
Participation: Free to All
Venue: Kyoto University Clock Tower Centennial Hall
Language: Japanese/English [with Interpreter]
Organizer: Center for Southeast Asia Studies
Co-organizer: Japan Foundation Asia Center

For more details and information on the lineup of documentaries please visit the official website here: Visual Documentary Project 2014

REBELDOM 31st EDITION 〜尊芯塾 × DAM (from Palestine) @ Club Metro

This event at Club Metro on Thursday October 9th features the award-winning Slingshot Hip Hop film, a short discussion about current conditions in Gaza & the West Bank, and a rocking live performance by DAM, Palestine’s first and foremost hiphop group.
RebeldomDate: Thursday October 9th 2014
Part 1

19:00: Doors Open
19:30 Movie: Slingshot Hip Hop
21:00 -21:30: Discussion

Part 2
22:30:
REBEL SOUNDS:DAM (from Palestine) / RITTO (from 琉球) / 志人 / STINKY SCIZA (BONG BROS.) / DR.HASEGAWA
/ DAICHI (BASED ON KYOTO) / LIVING DEAD (UGRR)
/ FReECOol (SOUL POT RECORDS / HUMANMUSIC)
/ DJ PLANT (尊芯塾)
REBEL CALLIGRAPHY:柿沼鬼山
FOOD:ZAM ZAM

Tickets for Part 1 OR Part 2: 2000 yen for advance tickets / 2500 yen on the door
Tickets for Part 1 AND Part 2: 3000 yen
All tickets include one drink.
Order advance tickets here: ticket[at]metro.ne.jp
Access: Club Metro sits beside the Kamo river on Kawabata Dori, below cafe etw and above Marutamachi Station. Take Exit 2 from the station to find it. Here is a map: http://www.metro.ne.jp/access/index.html
Check this page for details: http://www.metro.ne.jp/schedule/2014/10/09/index.html

Rebeldom reverse

Hafu the Film is Coming to Kyoto!

From Megumi Nishikura,

““Hafu” is the unfolding journey of discovery into the intricacies of mixed-race Japanese and their multicultural experience in modern day Japan. The film follows the lives of five “hafus”–the Japanese term for people who are half-Japanese–as they explore what it means to be multiracial and multicultural in a nation that once proudly proclaimed itself as the mono-ethnic nation. For some of these hafus Japan is the only home they know, for some living in Japan is an entirely new experience, and others are caught somewhere between two different worlds.”

HAFU_poster_smallHafu the film will receive its theatrical release in Kyoto from March 29th to April 4th.
Showings are at 8:45pm each day at the Kyoto Miniami Kaikan Cinema (京都みなみ会館)
Address: Nishikujō Higashihieijōchō Minami-ku, Kyōto-shi (京都市南区西九条東比永城町7979)
Location: South from Kyoto Station, on the south side of Kujo Street, a short walk west of Kintetsu Tōji Station.
Click here for the SCHEDULE.
Click here for a MAP.

“According to the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, one in forty-nine babies born in Japan today are born into families with one non-Japanese parent. This newly emerging minority in Japan is under-documented and under-explored in both literature and media. The feature-length HD documentary film, “Hafu – the mixed-race experience in Japan” seeks to open this increasingly important dialogue. The film explores race, diversity, multiculturalism, nationality, and identity within the mixed-race community of Japan. And through this exploration, it seeks to answer the following questions: What does it mean to be hafu?; What does it mean to be Japanese?; and ultimately, What does all of this mean for Japan?”

See also: http://hafufilm.com

Buddhism after the Tsunami – Free Movie Screening at Chion-in

buddhism afterFrom Souls of Zen via Jean Downey:

“We are delighted to announce that Chion-in, the head temple of Jodo (Pure Land) Buddhism in Japan will show Buddhism after the Tsunami this March in Kyoto!”

From Ten Thousand Things: Souls of Zen – Buddhism, Ancestors, and the 2011 Tsunami in Japan follows the “greatest religious mobilization in Japan´s postwar history.” Filmed from March to December 2011, the documentary by Tim Graf, a graduate student at Tohoku University, and director/cinematographer Jakob Montrasio  explored  the everyday lives of Buddhist professionals in the disaster zone, and Japan’s tradition of ancestor veneration in the wake of 3/11, focusing on Soto Zen and Jodo Pure Land Buddhism.

13 March 2014 @ 13:30
14 March 2014 @ 13:30
15 March 2014 @ 16:30

Chion-in Wajun Kaikan, B2 Floor, Wajun Hall
Free and open to the public!
Details in Japanese at the LINK

Buddhism after the Tsunami – The Souls of Zen 3/11 Japan Special (Classroom Edition) – Trailer from Tim Graf on Vimeo.

See also: Souls of Zen

CSEAS Visual Documentary Project: “Plural Co-existence in Southeast Asia”

From Mario Lopez,

The Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS), Kyoto University is
proud to announce that it will host a film forum to show five selected
documentaries by independent, young film-makers from Southeast Asia on
the topic of plural co-existence. This is an OPEN forum and we invite
anyone who is interested to participate.

Date and Time: March 11 (Tuesday), starts from 13.00

Venue: Large Conference Room (Room 330), Inamori Foundation Building 3rd floor (MAP)

http://sea-sh.cseas.kyoto-u.ac.jp/en/event/visual-documentary-project2013/

Southeast Asia is a place of rich diversity and home to over 600
million people. This diversity, a product of centuries of social,
cultural, political and religious development, is at the heart of
Southeast Asian societies. Migration, work opportunities, and the flow
of cultural goods all create opportunities for people across to the
region to meet each other with people living side by side. In this
process they contribute to the creation of different groupings known
as “plural societies.” This forum hopes to stimulate, and raise
awareness of how Southeast Asian filmmakers consider the plurality in
their societies and visually document it.

This year we have a selection of short films from Thailand, Vietnam,
Cambodia, and the Philippines.

For any inquiries contact Mario Lopez marioivanlopez[at]cseas.kyoto-u.ac.jp

Mario Lopez
Co-organizer

Double click on the image below to view it in a larger size.
CSEAS cut

Japanese Film Screenings with English Subtitles at KICH

Kyoto International Community House has a series of FREE Japanese film screenings with English subtitles now ongoing. This would be a wonderful opportunity for movie fans if it weren’t for the awkward scheduling during weekday office hours. Why not an evening or weekend showing? Well, if you are free at these times, then these are the films up-coming: Continue reading