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Category: Indievisual Mag (page 1 of 3)

Ogata Takaomi Interview now live.

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 find by clicking here.

The Adventuress Spirit

My interview with director and mother of two, Nishikawa Fumie, went live last Friday. If you’re staying tuned to Indievisual updates through the blog, apologies for the delay. You can go directly to the interview by clicking here.

This was also the first time I went to photograph the interviewee for the feature image. I used only an iPhone 7 with lenses by Moment. There was a bit of a learning curve with their app, but I was satisfied with the results, not to mention doing this was a great way to become more acquainted with Ms. Nishikawa. Moving forward, I look forward to mastering both the technical and human interaction aspects of portrait photography.

New Interview Imminent

Update

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!

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