Naomi Kawase in London in September for: Naomi Kawase: In Focus – Open City Documentary Festival 2019

Naomi Kawase¹ (website) is in London in September for the Open City Documentary Festival 2019 where she will take part in three screenings and will introduce a selection of her works and take part in a Q&A and extended talk. Called, “Naomi Kawase: In Focus”, this particular festival strand, organised with the help of the Japan Foundation, is a unique opportunity to see some of the early films that helped make Naomi Kawase a major presence in world cinema as these self-documentaries show her nascent skull which developed while she recorded some of the most intimate details of her life as she searched for her identity on screen. Most prominent amongst the films is the influence of her adoptive mother, Uno Kawase, which is a bond that is put on screen in a moving set of films which have been highly lauded.

Here are the details. Just click on the titles to access the festival page and booking information:

Embracing + Sky, Wind, Fire, Water, Earth + Intro

Date: Sun 08 Sep, 13:30

Location: Regent Street Cinema

 

Embracing

につつまれて Nitsutsumarete

Release Date: 1992

Duration: 40 mins.

Director: Naomi Kawase

Writer: N/A

Starring: Naomi Kawase, Uno Kawase,

Website IMDB

Synopsis: A documentary about Kawase’s search for her father, the man who left her when she was a child and never attempted to make contact. Armed with an 8mm camera and a set of photographs of people and places from her parent’s past, Kawase journeys into nostalgia and disappointment and… 

Sky, Wind, Fire, Water, Earth

きゃからばあ Kya kara ba a

Release Date: 2001

Duration: 50 mins.

Director: Naomi Kawase

Writer: N/A

Starring: Naomi Kawase, Uno Kawase,

Website     IMDB

Synopsis: Nearly a decade on after finding her father on “8 mm film” she has records her reaction to his death and the impact is keenly felt on film as Naomi draws on her original search in the film “Embracing”, the strength of her adoptive parents throughout her life and possibilities of creating another identity in her career as a filmmaker.

Naomi Kawase: Katatsumori + See Heaven + Chiri + Q&A

Date: Sun 08 Sep, 16:00

Location: Regent Street Cinema

 

The “Grandmother Trilogy” shows Uno Kawase, the woman who helped raise Naomi in intimate home movie footage where we further see the roots of one of contemporary cinemas most unique voices and how she has always had a knack for capturing intimacy.

 

See Heaven

天見たけ Ten, mitake

Release Date: 1995

Duration: 10 mins.

Director: Naomi Kawase

Starring: Naomi Kawase, Uno Kawase,

Website             IMDB

Synopsis: An experimental collage of intimate moments weaving together starkly different images such as Uno gardening, burning rubbish and Naomi larking about around her…

Katatsumori

かたつもり Katatsumori

Release Date: 1994

Duration: 40 mins.

Director: Naomi Kawase

Starring: Naomi Kawase, Uno Kawase,

Website    IMDB

Synopsis: Katatsumori is a film about Kawase’s great-aunt, the woman who stepped in to be a foster parent. Gardening is featured heavily as Uno shows off her skills but what becomes apparent as Kawase uses the camera is their close relationship. In a surprising move, the older lady gets in on the act as they connect through cinema and show us the bond they share…

DustChiri

天見たけ Ten, mitake

Release Date: 2012

Duration: 45 mins.

Director: Naomi Kawase

Writer: N/A

Starring: Naomi Kawase, Uno Kawase, Mitsuki Kawase

Website        IMDB       

Synopsis: Naomi Kawase was born into a world where her parents, and most of her family were absent but Uno Kawase and her husband stepped in to raise their grand-daughter. Now, in this film, Uno is at the end of her life and Naomi is there to document her last days on Earth, thus immortalising her.

Naomi Kawase: Birth/Mother + Extended Conversation

Date: Mon 09 Sep, 18:30

Location: Curzon Soho

Birth/Mother

垂乳女 Tarachime

Release Date: 2006

Duration: 43 mins.

Director: Naomi Kawase

Writer: N/A

Starring: Naomi Kawase, Uno Kawase, Mitsuki Kawase

Website     IMDB

Synopsis: This film turns all of the previous films on their head and shows us a more complicated picture of the relationship between Naomi and Uno Kawase. Naomi uses the first half of the film to ruminate on death by documenting Uno’s daily life as she nears death with each moment and the grief builds as she captures awkward and challenging moments. Then the film moves into the more hopeful realm of life as Naomi gives birth to her child Mitsuki in another challenging sequence as she refuses to turn the camera away from that moment.

¹I have only reviewed fiction features made by Naomi Kawase. Here are the reviews (indulge me):

Sweet Bean

Radiance

Vision

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