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Archive: Fall 2004

Japanese Documentary Filmmakers

Special Guests: Both Hara Kazuo and Tsuchiya Yutaka will be present during the screening of their respective films. All discussions will be moderated by Akira Mizuta Lippit (FMS).

These screenings are co-sponsored by the Center for Asian Studies.

Hara Kazuo

Controversial Japanese director Hara Kazuo is one of those documentary filmmakers who asks whether a “documentary is ever wholly truthful, when everyone who is being filmed is conscious of it and thereby actually plays the game?” —Berlin Film Festival

October 28 • 7:30pm
Extreme Private Eros: Love Song 1974

Noted Japanese documentary director Hara Kazuo makes an obsessive, compelling film about Takeda Miyuki, his former lover. Drawn by her letters, he goes to Okinawa and documents this remarkably strong-willed woman as she has a relationship with an African-American soldier, bears their interracial child alone, and discusses the director’s shortcomings with Hara’s producer and lover, Sachiko Kobayashi. This film is a landmark in the development of Japanese documentaries, as it began a shift in perspective from collective films about social issues, as seen in Shinsuke Ogawa’s early works, to intensely personal works about individuals.
—Jonathan Crow, All Movie Guide

1974, Japan • 98 minutes • 35mm • B&W
Directed by Hara Kazuo • In Japanese with English subtitles

October 30 • 7:30pm:
Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On

Supervised by Shohei Imamura, director Hara recorded the strange crusade of Kenzo Okuzaki as he tried to resolve the gruesome mystery which haunted him for the past forty years. Why were some of his WWII comrades executed by their own commanders... and what became of the bodies? In spite of his sense of justice, Okuzaki’s methods border on the psychotic... and Hara’s camera captures it all.
—Kino International

1987, Japan • 122 minutes • 16mm • Directed by Hara Kazuo
In Japanese with English subtitles


Tsuchiya Yutaka

Tsuchiya Yutaka (1966) began serious creative work in 1990. He started the release of a free share-ware video, Without Television, in 1994 and initiated a distribution project for independent videos called Video Act! in 1998. He continues to be involved in the networking of media activists.

November 4 • 7:30pm
Peep “TV” Show

Raw, authentic and osten-tatiously low-budget, this DV feature dissolves the borders that supposedly separate fiction from reality. Centered on the generation of kids that hang out in the streets and small apartments around Shibuya, in Tokyo, Tsuchiya’s film captures two months of the strangely dislocated lives of these young people. —Rotterdam Film Festival

2004, Japan • 98 minutes • DV CamDirected by Tsuchiya YutakaIn Japanese with English subtitles

November 6 • 7:30pm
The New God

The New God records (Tsuchiya’s) relationship with Amamiya, female vocalist with the ultra-nationalist punk-noise band The Revolutionary Truth. He lends her a camera to record her trip to Pyongyang to meet Japan Red Army terrorists in exile, and she becomes a compulsive video diarist. Their exchanges of views about race, history, group identity and so on, founded on a shared hatred of US imperialism (“My enemy’s enemy is my friend”), achieves heights of absurdity and self-delusion which need to be seen to be believed.
—Tony Rayns, Berlin Film Festival

1999, Japan • 99 minutes • DV-CamDirected by Tsuchiya YutakaIn Japanese with English subtitles



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