All posts tagged: Director


Art of Persistence

For many, movies are manufactured reality, a stylized representation of it even if based on factual events. True situations are the purview of documentaries. However, the filmmakers at Supersaurus, producer, Ochiai Atsuko (pictured), and director, Sakaguchi Katsumi, have pursued an unconventional authenticity in their storytelling which have not so much blurred the line between fiction and non-fiction, but warped their defining spheres. Established in 1999, Supersaurus–named after the giant sauropod in reference to their desire to plod on making movies until their extinction–has released only six movies in their 18 year history. Each dealing with human dilemmas, their filmography serve as both snapshots of people’s lives, and also mnemonics of the best and worst qualities of humanity. They accomplish this by employing a kind of home movie immediacy, no doubt a function of their small, independent budgets as well as Sakaguchi’s background as a director of over 100 television documentary news programs. His camerawork is intimate, yet never overly “cinematic.” The cast are usually relative unknowns or first time actors, but with intimate understanding of …


Entertainer with a Cause

Yokohama born Miyazaki Daisuke posseses a pensive quality not readily evident in his relaxed gaze and mild-mannered smile. Make no mistake, however, inside burns a well stoked fire for incisively entertaining stories. A graduate of Waseda University, Miyazake attended a 2004 film school administered by New York University in Japan. The resulting thesis short, The 10th Room, garnered the program’s grand prize, certainly no fluke for the Political Science and Economics major. From there, he was a production design assistant on Leo Carax’s Merde and an assistant director for Kurosawa Kiyoshi. He made a few more shorts before teaming with Tokyo Sonata cinematographer, Ashizawa Akiko, in 2010 for his first feature-length movie, End of the Night. The stylish hitman tale feels like something out of cinema’s heyday of the 70s and 80s. Though its noir-ish tone, wry humor, and topicality seem outwardly “foreign,” its soul is distinctively Japanese and perhaps a completely original type of noir. Moreover, it is a wonderful showcase of the kind of savvy low-budget filmmaking that would have made Roger Corman …


An Indie Filmmaker in Cannes

Selected as one person who has contributed to and influenced local films in the article by the prominent newspaper, Nikkei Entertainment, titled, ‘100 People Shaking Up Japanese Cinema,’ Tsujioka Masato was motivated to make movies by observing Tsukamoto Shinya’s film making while on Tsukamoto’s set as an actor. He attracted attention in 2003 at the age of 23 with his debut film, Lost by Dead which depicted teens on a self-destructive rampage. His second film Divide was decorated at the Toronto ReelHeART Film Festival in 2006. The film’s opening in Tokyo set a new record for attendance, and with numerous mass media exposure, resulted in the rare theatrical nationwide release for an independent movie. In 2014, Tsujioka took his completely self-produced 7th movie, Black Room, to the Cannes Film Festival’s Marche du Film and booked a screening room in order to generate awareness for it at an international level. He has written his impressions of being at the world’s most prestigious film festival as an independent Japanese filmmaker. Original Japanese Text by Tsujioka Masato Arriving …