YIDFF recap

Aaron Gerow onogerow
Mon Oct 20 00:04:05 EDT 2003

Quite a number of you were at the YIDFF (was that why the list was so 
quiet for a while?), so many know the results, but I thought I would 
try to spark some discussion here.

First, no Japanese films were included among the awardees. The grand 
prize went to the 9-hour Chinese work _West of Tracks_, and the Ogawa 
Shinsuke prize in New Asian Currents also went to a Chinese work. Asian 
documentaries were quite prominent at the festival, but not Japanese 
ones (for the first time ever, there was not one Japanese film in the 
main competition). The complete list of winners is available on the web 


That doesn't mean there weren't a lot of interesting Japanese works 
being shown, in and out of competition. Tsuchiya Yutaka showed _Peep TV 
Show_, his much awaited second film after _A New God_, and was greeted 
with largely favorable response. Established experimental filmmakers 
like Kanai Katsu, Kato Itaru, and Nakajima Takashi also showed new 
works, with Kanai becoming the talk of the festival for his hilarious 
effort to out do the young people with ninja power (or more precisely, 
"zenei senjutsu").

The biggest sidebar at the festival was the Okinawan retro, which 
showed dozens of work on Okinawa or by Okinawans. Parts of that are 
showing at Athenee Francais now, and then in Naha next month. The 
Newsreel program also showed some Japanese works, especially those by 
Oe Masanori, one of the founding members. One big event was the 
screening of _Great Society_, a work Oe did with Marvin Fishman that is 
screened using six projectors running simultaneously. It was screened 
in an old Japanese warehouse and all the other electricity--including 
the toilet light!--had to be turned off to provide electricity for the 
projectors. This was a case where the projection itself was half the 

Those of you who could not go should keep an eye out for the catalogs 
on the YIDFF site.

Anyone with particular favorites or things to discuss?

Aaron Gerow

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