[KineJapan] Kawase to direct Olympics doc

Frederick Veith notreconciled at gmail.com
Sat Oct 27 23:07:17 EDT 2018


Thanks for the detailed reply. Being in complete opposition to the Olympics
myself, that makes sense to me, and isn't surprising. I admit to having
been morbidly curious about Kawase's reception for a long time now, but
even leaving aside responses to Kawase the person, I'm not sure I see the
mismatch that Ishitobi-san (from what little I could see) seemed to be
concerned about, which is partly why I was curious about other responses. I
don't find Kawase's films to be at all apolitical, but even without getting
into the fraught territory of the implicit politics of some of her work,
there's an approach to spectacle already in a work like Sharasoujyu which
seems to me not at all uncongenial to the task of "officially" documenting
the Olympics, whatever else I may think of the politics either of the
filmmaker, the event itself, or the propriety of that task.


On Sun, Oct 28, 2018 at 11:25 AM Gerow Aaron <aaron.gerow at yale.edu> wrote:

> Fred,
> First and foremost is that many of the people I am connected to are
> against the Olympics itself. Kawase, to them, should be filming the
> neglected people of Fukushima, Okinawa, or Kumamoto and not latch onto the
> officialdom who is neglecting those people. (In some ways, this reminds me
> of the furor over Expo 70, when some filmmakers objected to Matsumoto
> Toshio and others deciding to collaborate with the Expo.) One friend on FB
> said it would be great if Kawase slyly put in messages about how the
> Olympics are actually hurting the people of Fukushima in her documentary,
> but that friend very much doubts that will happen: Kawase has been largely
> a-political in her filmmaking and has often been willing to serve on
> government committees.
> Some colleagues suggested the comparison between Kawase and Leni
> Riefenstahl, perhaps implying that this is a woman filmmaker interested in
> art who doesn’t have a problem working for a regime with fascist tendencies
> if it can allow her to make films.
> Also, some have speculated about why Kawase got the nod. One rumor that
> was reported—and all I can say is that it is a rumor—is that Abe Akie, the
> wife of the prime minister, is a big fan of Sweet Bean, and has often cited
> it in speeches.
> And frankly, there are a lot of people out there who don’t like Kawase
> personally. Earl has just mentioned one of many incidents news of which has
> spread through the grapevine.
> I should stress that I am here just reporting some of what I have read. I
> don’t attest to the veracity of all of it, or agree with all of it. But I
> do think the first one is a major issue: collaborating with a godawful
> boondoggle that is literally hurting people is problem. If she could turn
> that around and criticize the Olympics in her own documentary, that would
> be wonderful. But I very much doubt that will happen.
> Aaron
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