Furuta Wataru Interview Now Available

Indievisual Mag
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The first interview published in 2018 is with Furuta Wataru, an award-winning producer and director who I have known for many years. I first encountered his work when I was the international films programmer for the San Diego Asian Film Festival. I reached out to him on one of my visits to Japan and over time we have become friends. His career trajectory is fascinating. Though I saw a burgeoning filmmaker racking up multiple short movie achievements to his name, he shifted rather naturally to being a working photographer/art director when cable and satellite programming–through which he was most active–trailed off in reaction to changing viewership as the internet first began encroaching upon broadcast media. However, had Furuta garnered his short movie success in tandem with the rise of internet video instead of before, I’m personally convinced his path would have continued in motion pictures. Though very happy with the work he is now doing (he is slowly gaining attention as a photographer), Furuta has become one of those “lost” filmmakers who for one reason or another became overlooked or quietly went on to do other things. It was the desire to bring attention to filmmakers like Furuta which motivated me to begin Indievisual, therefore I am especially pleased to shine a light back on this successful producer and director who was just slightly ahead of the times.

Click here to read my interview with Furuta Wataru.

Rutger Hauer: Big vs. Little

Indie Filmmaking
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The big movies now are such an industry where the money has to come back as soon as possible. With a little movie you have a little more room to move. The eye of the director and the point of view of the filmmaker has suffered [in big films] in the past decades. I look for hard balls. And I don’t see much balls in most films today. When I started out, the films would go into the theaters and they would play as long as they would play.

 

From this interview at the Hollywood Reporter.

(photo: Victoria Will/Invision/AP)

Enlightened Era of Tech

Inspiration
Offscreen-Blog-Issue18-Editors-Note

“In a more enlightened era of tech, we will move beyond a superficial understanding of ‘well designed’, which today seems overly concerned with aesthetics. Instead, good design will focus on creating user experiences that are inclusive and empathetic, on writing code that is open and energy-efficient, and on running a business model that doesn’t rely on infinite growth to survive.”
Kai Brach (Offscreen magazine)

 

Publisher Kai Brach writes an astute editor’s note for Issue 18 (seen above). He has shared it on the Offscreen Blog and I think it’s worth a read. Though dealing particularly with dilemmas facing the tech industry, all of us who use new media platforms should take in to consideration our responsibility for the content which ultimately are processed, filtered, and delivered to users across the globe. As the quote above points out, “growth” or in the parlance of internet journalism, ‘click-bait’, needs to take a backseat to integrity.

Please, do click here and read Kai’s thoughts.

Ogata Takaomi Interview now live.

Indievisual Mag
Ogata-Takaomi-Indievisual-Interview-Main

My interview with director, Ogata Takaomi, titled “Through a Theater Darkly” is now live on the Indievisual Magazine site.

Ogata-san is a filmmaker who intentionally makes movies which are not easy to watch, and therefore not tremendous box-office draws. This makes him by definition an independent director. A filmmaker willing to take those risks in order to make the movies about the topics which he wishes to address and in a manner consistent with a personal philosophy. It is rare to see a director so dedicated to objectivity who isn’t actively making documentaries but narrative fiction instead which first caught my attention. However, when I learned he counts as his influences the Dardenne Brothers and fellow countryman Kore-eda Hirokazu, all of whom began as documentary filmmakers, the “leap of faith” he took when he began seems less reckless and perhaps rather calculated. His latest movie, “The Hungry Lion”, recently world-premiered at the 2017 Tokyo International Film Festival’s Japanese Cinema Splash section. Perhaps, he is on the cusp of breaking out onto the world stage just as those he admires.

Find out more about Ogata Takaomi in my interview which you can read by clicking here.