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Freunde von Freunden

Freunde von Freunden is an online magazine about creative culture in various parts of the world. Though they are based in Kreuzberg, Berlin, their international network of contributors allows them to tell a wide variety of stories ranging from travel, art, food, and of course, live/work lifestyle which serve to inspire and inform. Their title, meaning “friends of friends,” represents their tight knit community who share the same values about the above mentioned topics.

I first discovered them as I was conducting research into various publications, both online and in print as the idea of Indievisual was still germinating in my head. Freunde von Freunden [hereafter FvF] have also been producing a series of video interviews to compliment their written interviews in association with varied partners….

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New Interview Imminent


The interview is now live! Follow this link to read.

Our latest interview focuses on the two partners of production company, Supersaurus. Producer, Ochiai Atsuko, and director, Sakaguchi Katsumi, are practically the epitome of low-budget, indie filmmaking in Japan. Learn more about them now!

Neill Blomkamp is sowing Oats

From this interview by Glixel.

In traditional Hollywood you have this situation where directors work on these pretty large films that take a couple of years to make. They end up doing ten or 15 films in their career because of how long it takes to mount the projects. My initial reason to want to do this was because you don’t really have the opportunity to play around as much as you may want to. If you think of a painter or a sculptor or a musician they have hundreds of pieces of semi-completed artwork lying all over the place while they’re testing stuff out and they go from one painting to another painting and then back. Because filmmaking requires so much capital per project it behaves like a very different beast.

I really wanted to try and figure out if there was a way to not have to adhere to that, at least for 50 percent of my career. I still want to do big Hollywood films, my interest in that hasn’t waned at all, but how do I introduce this sandbox of playing around, this incubator or nursery ground for ideas, how do I make that happen?

I have to admit, his thoughts on filmmakers not being able to “play around” with ideas as compared with other artists due to the cost of ramping up even a small, experimental shoot is rather accurate. It also should be noted that he, too, tapped Kojima Hideo for feedback on some of the movies Oats Studios has already shot.

K-Noir and J-Noir

Korea Portal, has reported Korean action-thriller The Villainess was given “a rousing applause that lasted for four minutes” at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. Korean Film Noirs have always been at the heart of the Korean cinema rennaissance and year over year, the quality of the stories as well as their production value have steadily increased to the point of arguably rivaling ¬†fare from America or Europe.

As if echoing this, England’s ‘The Daily Mail’ published an interview with The Villainess director, Jung Byung-Gil, titled “Why Korea’s ‘film noir’ movies are wowing Cannes” which also traces the roots of the genre’s foothold in Korea, linking it to historical scandals and sensational crimes throughout Korea’s post-war history.

In our interview with Miyazaki Daisuke, he expresses his hope to one day help create a “J-Noir” movement in Japan through mid-budget movies. Though he sees the post-Bubble Era gloom as well as post-Great East Japan Earthquake anxiety as emotions which can be tapped into for material, The Daily Mail article and Korea’s success also reveal the challenges ahead. Firstly, film noir has taken off in Korea, a fact Miyazaki points out himself, whereas it has not in Japan. The audience just isn’t there yet. Second, and related to the first, more filmmakers have to want to tackle the true-to-life crimes and scandals that are at the very heart of film noir. The dark underbelly of society is the sustenance on which the genre thrives. And while Japan is certainly not free of sensational crimes or scandals, filmmakers, especially the major studios, have been reluctant to deal with them, at least as “Film Noir”; family or courtroom dramas, yes, but rarely morally dark, thrillers. Those which have attempted to do so have been low-budget, independent movies which barely attract enough audience attention much less societal appreciation. Even more odd are the movies which actually criticize the victims of the crimes or scandals. However, Miyazaki is aware of the trend and understands that to create a J-Noir will require bigger budgets than the usual Japanese indie movies and a courage to be both topical yet entertaining, just like the film noirs of Korea.
Read more about what he has to say regarding J-Noir among other topics in our interview here