Camera Japan 2017 Preview: Feature Films

Same Old Same Old Film Image 1

Camera Japan 2017 starts in just under a months time in Rotterdam and Amsterdam and there is plenty to dig into so having the festival programme is a must. You can also read about the various films and events here on this site where I will have this guide which acts as an overview and comes complete with addresses and links. There are other, more detailed posts covering

Feature Films  |  Anime and Short Anime Films |  Documentaries

Special Screenings and Short Films   |   Workshops and Events

This particular post covers feature-length films which will be shown in Rotterdam (21st– 24th September) at LantarenVenster and Amsterdam from (29th September 01st October) and there will be lots to see.

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Camera Japan 2017 Events

My Camera Japan 2017 coverage continues with this quick round-up of events that will be taking place during the festival. Some of these are not listed on the website or have been mentioned in earlier posts such as the general overview. Everything except a Filmbrunch takes place in Rotterdam.

Events kick off on the 15th of September with a warm-up of the festival at WORM in Rotterdam which is a multidisciplinary evening, consisting of the experimental black-and-white movie Gui aiueo:S A Stone from Another Mountain to Polish Your Own Stone by Go Shibata (see the documentary section for more) and a concert by Krautrock band Minami Deutsch.

Hāfu2Hāfu – Portraits of half Japanese people and their unique question to you.

Tetsuro Miyazaki is a half-Belgian half-Japanese photographer whose project involved photographing hāfu (Japanese mixed with another ethnicity) from every country in the world and sharing their most significant questions about identity, sense of belonging and growing up with two different cultures. This is an interesting follow-up to the 2013 documentary Hāfu – The Mixed Race Experience in Japan.

SUIHA / Water Wave • 水波

Yasuhito Arai is a Japanese artist currently residing in the Netherlands. He is known for his sound installations and concerts in which the audience often finds “nature” within and around themselves. His passion is to express his feelings that resonate with the place and audience at a particular moment. His latest installation

The Smell of the Tale of Genji

Maki Ueda devles into the world’s first modern novel, The Tale of Genji, through smells. Home fragrances (or soradakimono) play a big role. They are used as metaphors for the seasons, characters or emotions. During this workshop people will first learn about the scents described in the story, after which they will get to make them using traditional materials. The result is a “fragrant sachet” that they can use as a home fragrance.

Sencha Workshop

Green tea is everywhere in Japan! It’s consumed more than Coca-Cola! It’s only rival is water and beer but even then you don’t see them handed out every few seconds during meetings in Japan!Takahide Suzuki will lead a workshop where he will teach students everything there is to know about sencha, a very popular kind of Japanese green tea. There will also be the chance to taste many varieties of sencha inclduing the most high grade sencha known as “Gyokuro”. Takahide Suzuki hails from Shizuoka, the tea capital of Japan so he knows what he’s talking about!.

Interventions At Camera Japan

Interventions sound menacing – like rescuing someone from a cult – but fear not, these are short acts which will “transport you briefly to another world” through dazzling feats of comics, martial artists, and dancers who will appear at random during the festival.

Miso Workshop

Do you know what else is common in Japan? Miso soup. Every meal I had with Japanese people usually had miso involved. What is Miso? Fermented soybean paste and it’s an essential ingredient in Japanese cooking. It’s great stuff and Camera Japan is the place to learn how to make miso with an expert from Malicafe Organic Vegan Food in Amsterdam and find out about its importance in Japanese society.

Performance by Noriko Tujiko,

She is often described as the Japanese answer to Björk and Mum because of her mix of poppy tunes and experimental electronics which she has developed over the course of releasing 15 albums. She is a musician, songwriter and filmmaker based in Paris and visitors to Camera Japan will see her as she performs as the lead actor in the film Kuro. After the screening, she will perform a concert after the screening!

Filmbrunch

Camera Japan are pairing up two films with a food fest stocked with delicious Japanese inspired goodies. Make a Sunday special with a screening of ‘Oh Lucy!’, nd ‘Her Love Boils Bathwater’ and some delicious treats!!!

Japanese Craft Beer Tasting

One of the many things that unites Europe and Japan is a love of beer. We Europeans are now getting used to big Japanese brands like Asahi, Sapporo and Kirin (usually brewed over here but whatever) but what is the Japanese craft beer market really like. Unless you travel to Japan you may never taste it… Unless you go to Camera Japan! There will be a tasting session where you will get to try some of the best Japanese craft beers. The evening includes a short documentary titled Craft Beer in Japan, co-director by Dutch filmmaker Maarten Roos.

Kids’ Day

Kids love hands on activities and both Nippon Connection and Camera Japan provide them. This year, the festival will provide a special afternoon for children and their parents full of workshops, games, and, yes, films!

Opening Traditions (Installation + lecture + film)

This is a collaborative project between designers Emilie Pallard (FR), Makiko Shinoda (JP) and Niels Heymans (NL). The three worked together over a period of two years and investigated the craft of Kurume Kasuri: a weaving technique typical to the Kurume region of Fukuoka prefecture, Kyushu. The technique requires yarn to be tied and dyed before weaving, resulting in lush patterns with a subtle, hazy appearance. Pallard and Heymans will present both a film and a book about their project, and the textile will be displayed in an installation. The images on the website make it look rather interesting.

Camera Japan Logo

Camera Japan 2017 starts in just under a months time in Rotterdam and Amsterdam and there is plenty to dig into so having the festival programme is a must. You can also read about the various films and events here on this site where I will have this guide complete with addresses and links to other, more detailed posts covering

Overview | Feature Films  |  Anime and Short Anime Films |  Documentaries    |   Special Screenings and Short Films   |  Workshops and Events

Camera Japan 2017: Special Screenings and Live-Action Shorts

Camera Japan 2017 is almost upon us. The films programmed for the Special Screenings held in Rotterdam run across decades from the 1920s to 2008. Some of these are associated with the Kyushu aspect of the festival and all are rarely screened. Indeed, the oldest film, A Page of Madness, is a recently rediscovered classic that was once thought lost. It is now getting traction globally but the process has just started and it’s slow. Imagine being able to see it with a live benshi performance like it was originally intended to be seen… It’s happening at Camera Japan! Also screened is Shinji Aoyama’s epic slow-burn drama Eureka which is both visually and emotionally beautiful.

I’ve also thrown in information on the live-action short films that will be screened at Rotterdam. You can access a page which contains an overview of the entire festival through this link.

Here is what has been programmed!

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Camera Japan 2017 Preview: Anime

Camera Japan 2017 has pulled together some of the best anime films made in the last year with a Ghibli classic thrown in for good measure. It’s a mixture of the biggest box-office earners and all are critical darlings (although I’m not sure about the recently released, Your Voice). Many of these films have become cultural lightning rods for Japanese people and anime fans worldwide as awareness of anime has spread worldwide and really rocketed in the last few years. Indeed, the mainstream critics are taking notice, ensuring that a huge audience are watching these film and distributors are placing them in cinemas for limited runs. The best example is In This Corner of the World which won Best Film at the Japan Academy awards. That too has become a huge hit worldwide and the screenings I attended in both the UK and Japan were packed.

All of these films have become break-out success stories around the world with each one getting a release in territories from Asia to America and I am fortunate enough to work for a film festival where we have programmed all but two. If you get the chance to see them all in one place, do! Camera Japan is the best opportunity to do that in Holland!

Not only do you get feature-film goodness, there are animated shorts which will show the strength of a new generation of Japanese animators.

To get a full overview of the festival, click on this link.

Here’s the low-down on what has been programmed:

Hirune Hime Film Image 1

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