Okuribito wins

Eija Niskanen eija.niskanen at gmail.com
Mon Feb 23 07:38:31 EST 2009

I think also the TV coverage was awful. First they reported from the
Red Carpet by interviewing the Departures gang only, no mention about
Kato Kunio being there, too, or even him being nominated. Once his
award was announced, they started showing back footage from the Red
Carpet of Kato walking there.

This shows what value short art animation, which does not make money,
has for the media industry.


On Mon, Feb 23, 2009 at 9:31 PM, Aaron Gerow <aaron.gerow at yale.edu> wrote:
> It was nice to see two Japanese films win an Oscar (regardless of how good
> they really might be; as some might recall, Departures was picked as the
> worst film of 2008 by Eigei and not a few on the net I've read have
> speculated that Waltz with Bashir, the pre-ceremony favorite, lost because
> of its politics).
> But if I can say one thing: I hope that one day Japanese film people will
> learn to speak better English. Takita and Kato were kind of cute in their
> fumbling English, but they also just ended up performing the stereotypes of
> a closed Japan which can't really communicate with the world. It was kind of
> embarrassing. (Though Mokkun was actually pretty good in post-award
> comments.)
> Of course, the Japanese newspapers declared that Takita was "fluent"
> (ryucho) in his speech. No pressure to improve English there.
> The NHK news report (it was the top news story) was also kind of
> embarrassing. The same old pattern: the gaze of the foreign Other is finally
> upon us and they have recognized us! They even used the Olympics pattern of
> showing the "jimoto" celebrate Takita's award. The report also underlined
> the impending death of film criticism in Japan: both of the experts they
> interviewed were mostly business commentators. (NHK was also not quite right
> when it said Departures was the first Japanese film to win the best foreign
> film Oscar: three films won the Oscar when the category was a special
> award.)
> Given Mike's mail, one question we can ask is whether this award will turn
> Takita into an "auteur" with all the accouterments: retro screenings, DVD
> series, articles and books, etc. Given most of his recent films, one might
> say no, but we shall see.
> Aaron Gerow
> KineJapan owner
> Assistant Professor
> Film Studies Program/East Asian Languages and Literatures
> Yale University
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