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Archive for May, 2010

Shinsedai Cinema Festival 2010 -The New Generation Japanese Film Festival

The founders of my two favourite resources for everything and anything about Japanese cinema have birthed a festival love-child, and considering the genes, this baby will be amazing. If you live near Toronto, then I envy you.

Shinsedai (literally “new generation”) promises only the choicest and freshest in current Japanese cinema. A sample from their website to whet the Japanocinemaphile’s appetite:

For four days between July 22nd and July 25th the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre will be host to everything from insightful dramas, quirky comedies, hard-hitting documentaries, experimental shorts, and beyond. The Shinsedai Cinema Festival will have something for everyone this summer.

Chris Magee, founder of Toronto J-Film Powwow and Jasper Sharp, co-founder of Midnight Eye are like the twin pillars of 日本映画. I don’t take a step toward getting a new film without consulting them first – and you would be hard pressed to think up a film, actor, or director that they haven’t covered.

So, wish me luck in my negotiations for getting up to Toronto in July, and join me in following the festival’s progress on Twitter and Facebook.

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J-Cation/Asobi Seksu/Me&Mars

It seems to be my trend to do my writeups about events well after the fact, but surely that just means they are enjoyed longer!

April 10th was the highly anticipated J-Cation hosted by the Japan Society here in NYC. I’ve noticed that Little Japan comes out in full force for the spring here, and a Japanophile like myself can fancy themselves transported overseas where the people, food, and culture are uniquely 日本.

The Japan Society had packed its beautiful space with delights. I went with my sister and while we could only make it there for the evening, we walked into a warm welcome and groovy atmosphere. Maybe no one says ‘groovy’ anymore, but I do.

Meg and I deposited our donation, rang the bell, and clapped our hands. As we walked in, the music immediately surrounded us in the beautifully lantern-lit rooms, but perfectly levelled for conversation. In one look we saw steaming food carts, cute girls in maid outfits, and…bar tokens!

I let my city girl sister (Meg) lead the way as I am a bit over my head in cool situations, and she suggested we pick up a drink and survey before deciding our next move. I ordered a Sapporo beer (I’ve seen the adverts all over the place) and Meg ordered sake. We turned around to see the DJ area with giant screen pumping out a mixture of J-Rock, Pop, and covers while the younger generations were talking and laughing. There was also a Japanese sweets stall for the even younger, who were demanding imported delicacies faster than the vendor could sell them.

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