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March 01, 2011



I still use that book (and Midnight Eye) as a guide to good contemporary J films. And I agree that 1997 was a good year. Indie film was also booming. In Feb of that year, I moved to Hong Kong to work in their film industry. My intention was to spend a year there, then move to Tokyo to try to find work in the Indies.

Instead, I stayed a mere three months in HK before moving back to Tottori to get married. Found working in the film world to be pretty slimy and depressing. Along the way, I scammed a press pass to the HK International Film Festival, where I was able to hobnob with some film industry people. Good fun. My best memory is making plans with Japan Times film critic Giovanni Fazio, but getting blown off. He apologized later, his excuse being that he'd gotten a spur of the moment dinner invite by Wong Kar-Wai and Maggie Cheung. Can't say I blame the dude at all...


Interesting, that was the year I moved to Japan for the JET Program in Saitama-however, I was unfocused with an interest in film and literature with the intent of only staying a year...13 years later...

I've met Giovanni,friend of a friend, sorry, but I'd ditch you for either Wong Kar-Wai or Maggie Cheung as well;)

I am currently an acquaintance of Yukie Kito producer of "Tokyo Sonata" and several other films including "A Thousand Years of Good Prayer" directed by Wayne Wang and filmed in my hometown of Spokane, WA-recommended if you haven't seen it.

Ted, I think you might be interested to hear that my next film related essay will explore the Japanese culture influences in the films of Wong Kar-Wai (Murakami, Dazai, Naruse,and Seijun Suzuki).


Looking forward to it. I do like Wayne Wang too, especially 'Chan is Missing.'

I generally get hooked on a director, and watch his/her works chronologically. Spent the past few months with Imamura (alternating with the Ozu-like pacing of Finnish great Aki Kaurismaki), and now working our way through Suzuki Seijun, which is a bit laborious, though kinda groovy.

There's a new Criterion box set of Naruse's silents by the way...


You are much more methodical than me with your film viewing habits. I guess I like to break it up more and leave some room for further discoveries in relation to a particular director/writer.

That being said, I've seen most of Imamura's films except his most recent/obscure ("History of Postwar Japan As Told By A Bar Hostess" in particular sounds fascinating).

The film project essay I was referring to is for my university department's journal, which means I need a first draft done by September. I don't usually post my academic articles here, but might do so with this one. So I need to evaluate some of the suggested sources of inspiration: like "Norwegian Wood" for Days of Being Wild, "One Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning," "The Girl from Impanema 1963/1982," and "The Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World" for Chungking Express. There's a suggestion by Teo that "Hardboiled" also might have informed Fallen Angels, but it sounds as though Sejun Suzuki's "Branded To Kill" definitely was an inspiration for Fallen Angels. Teo also mentions echoes of Naruse in In The Mood For Love ("Repast"/"Floating Clouds"/"When A Woman Ascends the Stairs"). Also, Osamu Dazai novels "The Setting Son" and "No Longer Human" are said to be inspirations for In The Mood.

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