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Archive for japan society

日本のために ・ FOR NIHON: COMPILATION OF AMBIENT/ELECTRONICA

For Nihon is a compilation of electronic/ambient artists put together by Keith and Hollie Kenniff. 100% of the proceeds will go to the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund set up by New York’s Japan Society.

The compilation is available to download now and to pre-order as a double CD.

This is a beautiful collection of music and a wonderful way to contribute to the massive rebuilding efforts ongoing in Japan. Also be sure to check out the other albums on unseen for some beautiful shoegazey electronica.

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The Day I Embarrassed Tomorowo Taguchi. [video]

I didn’t realise there was video of this until just now. Looking through the NY Japan Society’s Youtube channel (check it out for some great interviews and their new show), I noticed some of the Q&A’s from 2010’s JapanCuts festival.

Any readers who saw my original post on this Q&A will recognise my embarrassing question (at about 5:30 in the video below). In my writeup, I had to combine his answer to me with a few others just to make it fit into context. He had already talked about his friendship with Jun Miura and the kind of boys-night-out that he usually had with his mates. This roughly gave a clue into how my question’s response came about.

Watching this back, I don’t feel quite so bad because Taguchi is clearly smiling and joking. At the time – as my sister was silently dying of laughter next to me – my heart was slowly sinking into my stomach, thinking I’d come across as…well, I didn’t quite know what he thought!

Two things I love about this response:

1. The way that Taguchi prepares himself by wiggling his eyebrows suggestively.

2. Poor Daichi Watanabe not hearing my original question, and absolutely cracking up at Taguchi’s answer.

Did my question make sense?? I didn’t mean to suggest…uhm…not that I…what?

Let me just say that I am all for male friends kissing and cuddling in bars, even if they don’t go home and shag each other! That is all.

‘Parade’ @Japan Society w/Isao Yukisada and Tatsuya Fujiwara

warning: this post contains spoilers (labelled)

“A horror movie disguised as a teenage slacker flick”

Such was director Isao Yukisada’s summation of his 2009 film Parade「パレード」. Speaking during a Q&A at New York’s Japan Society on July 10, Yukisada was surprisingly talkative and candid considering the deeply subversive film he had given to his audience.

Of course, there were likely many who had either sussed out the mystery earlier on, or simply read Shuichi Yoshida’s 2002 novel (though the collective gasp indicated that a fair few had not). Yet for a film that manages to successfully be two genres at once, and focuses on 5 different individuals, the ending loses none of it’s potency.

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‘Blood of Rebirth’ w/Toshiaki Toyoda @Japan Society

For those in New York of the 日本 persuasion, the 4 July holiday has been a mere sidenote. The main events have been courtesy of this year’s New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) and Japan Cuts. These sacred days of summer have offered long-awaited premiers of films still fresh off the reels in Japan, as well as rare opportunities to see The Best of Unreleased Naughties on the big screen. Spring may have had it’s cherry blossoms, but NYCJapan is in full bloom.

click to see my Flickr shots

A prize moment for devotees of cult films Aoi Haru and 9 Souls was the guest appearance of director Toshiaki Toyoda, who attended both screenings of his comeback film Blood of Rebirth 「蘇りの血」 for the film’s introduction and Q&A session afterward.

Saturday’s New York premier was akin to greeting a lost hero’s return for the packed audience, who applauded and cheered as he entered the stage doors. While almost all would have been acquainted with his very public arrest in 2005 – and the tarnishing of Hanging Garden‘s release – Toyoda’s life after prison until the announcement of Rebirth had remained a mystery. The movie itself only proved to deepen the mystery even more.

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