All posts filed under: Side Story

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Andrew Kirkham: Journey to the East

If life is a journey, then the road which has led Andrew Kirkham from his native United Kingdom to Japan has certainly been an interesting path indeed. Though it is often said the destination is less important than the journey itself, for Andrew his physical and professional journey has literally brought him both to Japanese cinema and the sleepy seaside town of Zushi where he has settled. Along the way he has had to reinvent himself as the industry has evolved over his 39 year career, but he has also met and befriended many people who shared in his journey, some short-term, others life long. And the polestar which has guided him continues to be cinema. “My infatuation with all things world cinema funnily enough grew out of my love of music. I was not a Beatles type person and was always looking for the next interesting musical sound. So began my eclectic tastes in life.” And thanks to the BBC’s late night programming he was exposed early to world cinema through which he first …

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Indie Forum 2019

The 2019 Indie Forum section at the Osaka Asian Film Festival presented 10 movies this year, four fewer than 2018 due to fewer short movies in the program. Though the official description touts 7 features and three shorts, one of the features is technically a “mid-length”–again depending on whose standards one subscribes. There were four world premieres and two Japan premieres including the first domestic screening of Demolition Girl which first bowed at the Slamdance Film Festival held simultaneously as Sundance. The enticing lineup certainly beckoned, but an unexpected personal commitment prevented a journey to the festival itself this year. While this negated a firsthand experience, the yearly Indie Forum coverage, a definite fixture on Indievisual, need not be interrupted. With the assistance of OAFF staff, online screeners were requested from the individual filmmakers or their sales agent. At the time of this writing only Okinawan Blue had yet not responded. If and when the filmmakers return a reply, this article will be updated. UPDATED: The Okinawan Blue filmmakers have been in touch and provided …

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2018: Looking Back & Forward

Indievisual’s first full calendar year (it went live in April of 2017 with a Year-in-Review posted 8 months later) set new milestones and solidly built upon the momentum of its launch. The number of interviews published approached a respectable pace of one every two months. Caught My Eye write-ups also saw an increase following the new guiding principle for how they would be written as detailed in this blog entry. And with some good fortune, the number of Side Stories remained unchanged. 2018 was a landmark year for writing articles and interviewing filmmakers. Or…that is what could have been written. Sadly, the reality is quite different. 2018 was a good year certainly for paid work with many opportunities received from long time collaborators. This was also the first year translation work needed to be juggled with a job in the other realm in which I have a foot still planted. For more on this, please follow this link as I do not wish to dedicate space for it here. Suffice it to say, simultaneously working …

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Indie Forum 2018

The 2018 Osaka Asian Film Festival once again beckoned with its Indie Forum section offering a mix of surprising, delightful, thoughtful, and once in a while challenging movies thus preserving its position as an important showcase of independent Japanese cinema. Read about the twelve films viewed.

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A Look Back

Indievisual went live in April of 2017. It’s been ten months since then and the journey has been amazing. Revisiting filmmakers interviewed, features written, and movies introduced, I look back at a year of learning to crawl before I walk.

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The Osaka Asian Film Festival: Beacon in the West

East and West, two directions on a compass which have often taken on much more significance than their navigational meanings. On a macro-scale, the differences between the two play out on an entirely different stage, becoming equally representative of global ideologies. On a micro level, the terms can be more innocuous. Take for example, Los Angeles and New York; representative cities of the east and west coasts of the United States. One could travel from one city to the other in a few hours, but the cultural distance between the two is likely far wider. New York’s high-rise, hustle-and-bustle metropolis is a far cry from the laid back, urban expanse stitched together by miles of congested freeways that is Los Angeles. New York is the capital of theatre. Los Angeles is the home of Hollywood. New York is a melting pot of ethnicities, while it could be argued Los Angeles is more a fusion of cultures. The rivalry and differences between Japan’s Kanto (East) region and Kansai (West) regions, particularly between the cities of Osaka …

Toshiyuki Hasegawa: Mixing Business With Pleasure

Hasegawa Toshiyuki means business. In the sense of being completely earnest in what he says or does, the description is certainly appropriate. However, sitting in a small cafe in Shimbashi where the first floor of a Bauhaus-esque office building has been converted into a shoutengai (a shop area) full of cozy eateries and pubs, and listening to him talk about goals he aspires to achieve, one can also perceive a penchant for seeing how connections between people can lead to opportunities. With regard to the vast landscape of the international film industry, his “people-centric” brand of business savvy is a welcome breeze in the otherwise stuffy confines of Japan’s all too self-congratulatory, sales-figures and awards fixated film industry. A graduate of Nihon University’s College of Art where he studied broadcasting, Hasegawa’s love of movies was born at an early age. One would imagine the titles which captured his interest during those formative years were more children’s fare like the Pippy Longstocking series, or Albert Lamorisse’s The Red Ballon, but this certainly wasn’t the case for …