Dear Basketball

Off Topic
Dear Basketball Main

I am an Angelino. I am a Lakers fan (note that’s in present-tense). I have had the fortune to witness both the Magic-Kareem dynasty and the Kobe-Shaq dynasty before moving to Japan. Kobe Bryant’s sudden passing has sealed his status as a legend of the sport. But let’s not forget the young life which was also lost and did not have the opportunity to make her mark on the world.

Condolences to the Bryant family and the families of all those who were lost in this accident.

Here is Kobe Bryant’s Academy Award-winning animated short Dear Basketball, a film written and narrated by Bryan; directed and animated by Glen Keane, with music by John Williams.

UPDATE: The full short movie has apparently been taken offline by the filmmakers for reasons which the L.A. Times reports are still unknown. Sorry if you did not get a chance to see it while it was still available online. I will not link to illegal uploads.

Coming Back Sunny

Filmmakers / Movies

I’m a bit late on this, but I discovered the trailer for Yuasa Noriko’s latest short Coming Back Sunny after checking my Vimeo feed for the first time in many months. Yuasa impressed me with her short Ordinary Everyday (read my thoughts here: https://read.indie-visual.net/indie-forum-2018/#everyday) and I have been looking forward to her next movie. She often works in television and her late-night series ‘Genkai Danchi’ did not disappoint in showcasing her storytelling abilities. There’s a fairly high concept visual language she hopes to achieve with Coming Back Sunny but she seems confident both in the narrative and her directorial choices.

The movie tells the story of a color blind high school girl who begins to experience for the first time brief phenomena of red which slowly alters the color of her own life. As with Ordinary Everyday, Coming Back Sunny is part of a short movie triptych 

Yuasa and the producers are looking to bring the movie abroad so if you’re interested, contact Yuasa through her Vimeo.

Charlize Theron and Park Chan-wook

Movies / Off Topic
Charlize Theron Video Image

During a round-table of Hollywood producers Charlize Theron reveals she was given the rights by Park Chan-wook himself to make a western adaptation of Sympathy for Lady Vengeance. She’s been trying to make it as a producer (and perhaps as an actress) since 2005, but the pieces haven’t fallen into place. It is still on her plate and I am certainly excited to see what she could do with it.

The rest of what she reveals about Bombshell on this clip is also fascinating.

Content Creation Conundrum

Indievisual Mag / Solutions
Content Creation Feature Image

Generating content is a challenge to all those who operate any kind of media channel, be it a video channel, a publication–digital or print, or even a social media site. Providing one’s audience with compelling and enjoyable content which encourages them to return for more or continue to engage with one’s site puts considerable amount of pressure on the site owner/creative staff. A friend once told me a story about someone they knew who was wrestling with doubts about the type of content they should be providing their audience. My friend, rightly, told them to just keep generating content they are enjoying. To begin creating content for the specific purpose of satisfying their visitors only will make the operation of the site feel like “work”. Ultimately the content itself will suffer as a result. I, personally, have not encountered this conundrum as of yet. My audience is rather small yet, and the nature of Indievisual’s mission means the articles I write are aimed for whomever willingly follows the magazine or stumbles upon one of the articles through a search on the web or my social media activities. I do not have a large, loyal following hungrily awaiting the next post or article. However, as Indievisual’s “editor-in-chief” and principle “writer”, I still do genuinely feel the responsibility to write quality articles in a timely manner. If you’ve read my previous “year-end reviews” (here and here), you’ll note the one issue with which I continue to struggle is the number of articles publish. As a “one-man” operation, sometimes there is not sufficient time to write articles or conduct interviews on any kind of planned timeline. I do so whenever time allows. Regardless, I earnestly desire to publish more often.

As a solution to the problem, I have sought the aid of contributors; or at the least requested people to write about themselves or their experiences as a means to source additional content as a supplement to articles I research and write myself. Unfortunately, the people to whom I have reached out have not been able to deliver. One individual ultimately admitted losing confidence in and thematic coherency to what they were attempting to write after months of waiting for them to complete the article. Rather than give up, I have instead encouraged this person to continue gathering their thoughts and when inspiration strikes to write their article. When this will be, I do not know. Another individual I asked to profile–rather than interview–initially welcomed the proposal enthusiastically, so I sent them a questionnaire which I use as a resource for the quotes and overall narrative of the article such as in the case of Hasegawa Toshiyuki and Andrew Kirkham. However, the person has yet to return the questionnaire even after contacting them a few times to check on their progress since first reaching out to them in November of 2018. As recently as July, I had been asked to wait “a little longer”. This month will mark a year of waiting. Yet another individual expressed their appreciation of a proposal to feature entries from their blog in a series intended to spotlight their particular perspective on the industry, but I have never received an official approval nor the English transcript of their text. At this point in time I do not know if I ever will.

I recognize that in these cases the individuals are also busy with their own lives and careers. I can certainly sympathize with them. The irony is these attempts at seeking third-party sources for articles have involved as much time, if not longer, as it would have taken had I tried to write them myself; the end result is still a shortage of published articles. That being the case then, I have decided to own the problem. The aforementioned content may still appear one day, but for the time being I will focus on interviews, event coverage, and essays which I can conceive and complete on my own in addition to Caught My Eye write-ups on movies I find and research myself. Though this will mean fewer articles will be published at infrequent times, at the very least I will not be at the mercy of others’ schedules or creative blocks or simple forgetfulness. I had hoped to serve my readership better by publishing more frequently and sought the aid of others in an attempt to generate more content, but I fell into the trap of thinking “more” equated to “better”; a “better” site, a “better” experience. My friend referenced at the beginning of this post was largely speaking about maintaining a consistent quality of the content regardless of how long it may take to create with the caveat I always communicate with my audience (as in these blog posts). In short, adhere to the old adage of “quality over quantity”.

I will continue to await responses from the previously mentioned cases, and I certainly have a variety of article concepts for contributors to write, but I believe my motivation for engaging others to write for me was born out of a fear the site was not being generously updated. That is not why I should have been seeking contributed articles. My aim is to one day deliver articles on a regular basis, but I may not always be able to do so. Having made an attempt at remedying this without much change in the number of articles published, I think I should instead continue to focus on maintaining my own standards for interviews, features, and write-ups with respect to staying faithful to Indievisual’s mission to “spotlight unsung figures in Japan’s independent film scene.”

Alicia Vikander on Learning Japanese

Movies / Off Topic
Alicia Vikander Feature Image

I am a big fan of Alicia Vikander, who came to everyone’s attention through Ex Machina. But it was through her acting in European movies such as A Royal Affair that I recognized her talents and marked her as someone whose works, Hollywood or not, should always deserve my attention.

So, she was cast in an adaptation of a book the story of which is set in Japan. Already my interest is piqued. In this video she reveals a good portion of the movie involves Japanese dialogue and it is fascinating to hear how the production adapted to the language differences for the performer. I think this is a great way for Japanese productions or foreign productions hoping to shoot in Japan to approach foreign-language dialogue. It is important to recognize how the actor wants to say or how the dialogue should feel in their native tongue (or in this case adopted tongue) and marry this with the language which they would be speaking. Doing so retains an authenticity both in the feelings behind the words and the very words themselves.