Sunday, April 19, 2009

Nippon Connection 2009: Day 3

by Chris MaGee

Hi again, All. Well, it's been three days of Nippon Connction, and I'll say two things: It's been an amazing festival, and I'm running out of cash, so this will just be a very short update until I get back into Toronto tomorrow night.

Films seen thus far? "Serial Dad", "The Kiss" (which you've both seen reviews for), "Non-ko", "GS Wonderland", "mime-mime", "Tokyo Sonata", "Locked Out", the wonderful Peaches programme, and my two favorite films of the festival Masahide Ichii's "Naked of Defenses" and Yuki Tanada's "Ain't no Tomorrows" (above). I actually got to conduct a brief interview with Tanada which I hope to run alongside the review of the film in the coming weeks. She was a bit jet-lagged and we were strapped for time, but she was very sweet. A class act.

Time and sheer exhaustion got in the way of catching "Ichi" and "Love Exposure", but I hope to make alternate arrangements to catch both (fingers crossed).

I also got through my first ever moderating position on a panel discussion with directors Kazuyoshi Kumakiri and Ryuichi Honda. It got a little rowdy with all the beer that the Nippon Connection folks provided, but all in all it went well. Look for a transcript in the coming weeks.

I was lucky enugh to watch a master of panel moderation yesterday, Prof. Roland Domenig of the University of Vienna. He led a talk about women in Japanese cinema with guests Yukie Kito, producer of "Tokyo Sonata", Mayumi Abe, one of the Peaches directors, here with her film "Bunny in Hovel", translator and professional subtitler Nami Asakawa, and Kayoko Nakanishi, the director of international promotions for UniJapan, and organization that helps promote and release Japanese films abroad. Copious notes were taken, so look for an article about this really interesting topic in the next couple of weeks.

Have to run again, but I'll leave you with the trailer for Yuki Tanada's "Ain't No Tomorrows".

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