Thursday, August 6, 2009

Chatting with filmmaker Yoshihiro Ito in advance of his visit to the Shinsedai Cinema Festival

by Chris MaGee

We're getting close, oh so close, to the Shinsedai Cinema Festival that runs from August 21st to August 23rd at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre here in Toronto. One filmmaker that both Jasper Sharp and myself are very excited to be presenting in Canada for the first time is Yoshihiro Ito. Hard to categorize Ito's films mix elements of comedy, romance, suspense and even small bursts of horror into a surreal hybrid that would make David Lynch and Seijun Suzuki proud.

I recently had a chance to chat with Ito before he makes his way to Toronto for the Shinsedai Fest and we discussed how Ito went from studying geophysics at University to becoming a filmmaker, how directors such as the aforementioned David Lynch, Shinji Somai and Bernardo Bertolluci influence his work, and how an elephant will factor in to his next film.

Check out the interview at the Shinsedai Cinema Festival website. Thanks to Masayo Heron for helping with the translation.

"Vortex & Others: 5 Short Films by Yoshihiro Ito" will be screening at the Shinsedai Cinema Festival Sunday, August 23rd at 12:00 PM with Ito in attendance for a post-screening Q&A session.

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