Wed Oct 29 05:00:11 EST 2003
Tomorrow the ATG retrospective in Vienna comes to a close and I can gladly
report that the programme was a great success. The interest in the films was
higher than anticipated. Whereas the films of Oshima (GISHIKI and KOSHIKEI),
Hani, Imamura, Ishii, Itami and Suzuki have been shown in Vienna before,
most films were shown for the first time. I was particularly glad that two
of my personal favourites of the programme, Jissoji Akio's MUJO, which was
shown in a beautiful new print, and Nakagawa Nobuo's KAIDAN IKITEIRU KOHEIJI
were received very well - three of the four screenings were sold out and so
were other screenings as well.
My greatest pleasure was that Kuzui Kinshiro, the manager of the Shinjuku
Bunka and Sasoriza and producer of many legendary films of ATG, came to
Vienna. For some reasons he seems almost forgotten in Japan, which is a
shame, because he was one of the most unique producers - one with a very
clear vision of cinema. He has so many interesting stories to tell! Most
interesting were his recollections of the projects that didn't pass the ATG
committee or that passed but never were realized. For instance there have
been talks with Kurosawa Akira about a film with ATG.
Kuzui was accompanied by Wakamatsu Koji who came to introduce his film
TENSHI NO KOKOTSU. Kuroki Kazuo was also supposed to come to Vienna, but
unfortunately he had to cancel his visit on short notice because he got
Kuzui and Wakamatsu were also present at the Symposium on October 20th and
21st. It was a rare opportunity to bring specialists from different regions
together: Max Tessier came from France, Roberta Novielli from Italy, Yomota
Inuhiko and Hirasawa Go from Japan and Mark Nornes from the United States.
Although most knew each other for quite a time, it was the first time to
bring more than three together at once. Hirasawa gave his first presentation
in English, and Yomota ended his 'performance' with a song from Oshima's
SHINJUKU DOROBO NIKKI. The symposium was enriched by a short film from a
famous Japanese novelist.
I received several mails asking how to get the catalogue. The catalogue can
be ordered through the Viennale-Homepage:
It costs 6 Euro + mailing expenses.
Parts of the Retrospective will be shown in Cologne (November and January)
and at the Arsenal in Berlin (December/January). Other places have also
shown interest in the programme, but no concrete plans exist yet.
Institute of East Asian Studies
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