by Chris MaGee
Here's something very neat that was brought to my attention by Pow-Wow writer Eric Evans this week. The University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts is putting on a 3-day festival of films titled "Contemporary Japanese Cinema: Outside, Elsewhere, In the World..." between February 19th through to February 21st. All of us here looked through the line-up and were a little baffled as to how they decided to out this very disparate group of films together. Check this out to see what we mean: Ryuhei Kitamura's animated film "Baton" and his live-action film "Azumi", Shunji Iwai's "Hana and Alice", Hirokazu Kore-eda's "Air Doll", and Shinji Aoyama's "Eureka" (above) and "Sad Vacation". See what we mean about disparate?
If you look through the official website for the fest here though things start to make more sense... and make this an event for Japanese film fans in Los Angeles a not to be missed event. The fest has been assembled around the appearances of Shunji Iwai, Ryuhei Kitamura and Shinji Aoyama. All three will be at the event discuss these films and their careers as filmmakers in general during roundtable discussions moderated by Japanese film scholar and author Akira Mizuta Lippit. What's best is all these screenings will be FREE to all USC students, faculty, staff and alumni. See what we mean about a not to miss event?
I'm not so sure how difficult it would be for non-students or faculty to get into these screenings and discussions, but follow the link above to check out full details of "Contemporary Japanese Cinema: Outside, Elsewhere, In the World..." where you'll find contact info for the event.