Hi, this is Taro Imai from Harakiri Films, Osaka. The past 2 weeks had been crazy for me.
On Oct 28, we wrapped up shooting of Korea Japan co-production independent film Anatano Uchuwa Daijobu Desuka? in Osaka.
On Oct 29, I was about to go to Itami Airport to attend a party called Tokyo Cinema Night at Tokyo International Film Festival. Then I heard a news that the assistant director of Anatano Uchuwa Daijobu Desuka? was hit by a car last night and was in a coma at a hospital. He is our friend who worked with us for a month together, so I thought I should cancel my trip to Tokyo. Fortunately, I heard that his life was OK, so I packed my clothes and rushed the the airport.
On the same day, we started crowdfunding for Anatano Uchuwa Daijobu Desuka? as you can check the link below. We all had mixed feelings about promoting crowdfunding when our friend was fighting for his life, but here it is.
In the afternoon, I arrived at my favorite hostel called Tokyo Hutte near Tokyo Sky Tree. The price is 3,000 yen per night for tatami dormitory, but I was the only one guest in the room!
At night, I went to Tokyo Cinema Night with Akiyo Fujimura, a director of Eriko, Pretended which I produced. The party was supposed to be an event to connect Japanese young filmmakers and foreign film guys, but I didn't see much young Japanese filmmakers there. Come on, where are they?
On Oct 30, I went to see a short film, Watashiga Hatsuga Suru Hi directed by Kozue Nomoto and starring Haruna Hori at Eizou Grand Prix as I'm hoping to have a screening of this film in Osaka next year. I just worked with Haruna Hori for Korea Japan co-production film, so I was happy to see her on the screen.
On Oct 31, I helped a screening of Snow Woman directed by Kiki Sugino for the competition of TIFF as I'm an assistant producer of this film. Honestly saying, I haven't seen this film yet, but everyone is telling me that this film is beautiful and interesting, so I'm looking forward to seeing it soon too. I even saw my favorite director, Hirokazu Koreeda at the screening. I want to know how he felt about the film.
At the festival, I met Pamela Reyes, a classmate of Ties That Bind and her director Mikhail Red. They were there for their film, Birdshot. Somehow, I get along very well with Filipino filmmakers, so I want to continue making good relationship with them. Again, I don't know why young Japanese filmmakers don't come to talk to these talented filmmakers here. As you can see on the pic, there is one of the greatest directors from Asia is here.
At night, we went out to Shinjuku for drinking all night...
We went to 3 bars in Shinjuku guided by super nice actress Makiko Watanabe. Makiko san is a great actress, but she took us around Shinjuku. I think this is the real omotenashi, the way of welcoming people in Japan. Thank you, Makiko san.
Nov 1, I saw 4K remaster version of Floating Clouds (Ukigumo) directed by Mikio Naruse. This is definitely not a film to watch when you have hungover, so I'm not gonna comment about film itself. About 4K remaster, I noticed that the dialogue and the music were too loud and too clear. I have never seen the original version, so I can't compare with the original version, but the dialogue and the music sounded a bit annoying for me. The background ambient sound sounded too low, and that sounded unbalanced for me. I felt this film has a lots of Western influence although it is called a masterpiece of Japanese classic cinema. Use of Middle Eastern like music and dialogue between the guy and the woman sounds like Western cinema. The story is melodrama like Casablanca. Anyway, I should watch this film when I don't have hungover again.
At night, finally a screening of Birdshot directed by Mikhail Rad and produced by Pamela Reyes! Beautiful, thrilling, and mesmerizing. How can you guys make such a kickass film, Mikhail and Pamela? Indeed, Birdshot won Best Asian Future Award! I'm a lucky guy to be their friend. Filipinos really rock! Everyone should watch this film whenever you have a chance!
On Nov 2, I saw Diamond Island directed by Davy Chou. This is another great film I saw at TIFF. Someone said this film resembled the current Cambodia at Q&A, but I would like to ask who knows about the current Cambodia in Japan. Most of us don't know anything about Cambodia, so I don't think it is good to imagine about whole Cambodia just watching this film. I think this film should be a door to have more interest in Cambodia. This film is entertaining and should be screened in Japan.
On Nov 3, I went to Shin Okubo Film Festival to meet Jang Kunjae. His film, A mid summer's Fantasia was screened there. I love this film, and Jang Kunaje is a very nice guy.
On Nov 4, I went to Yokohama to discuss about music right of a documentary film about Pepe Smith and his legendary band called Speed, Glue & Shinki I'm making with Bradley Liew. Then finally, I came back to Osaka.
After coming back to Osaka, I went to see the assistant director of Anatano Uchuwa Daijobu Desuka? to the hospital. Miraculously, he is getting better, and I really hope he will come back on a set soon!
Taro Imai, harakiri films