This article was written By Jon Jung on 23 Jul 2010, and is filed under Uncategorized.

About Jon Jung

Jon Jung (aka “Coffin Jon”) is the producer and host of the VCinema podcast and editor-in-chief of the VCinema blog. He is an avid movie fan who specializes in Japanese cinema, but enjoys everything from artsy high-brow to mega-billion blockbusters to straight-to-video turds. As an Asian-American, he got the best of all cinematic worlds as a child by receiving mega-doses of Ozu, Bruce Lee, Kamen Rider, and American drive-in movies in addition to a steady diet of punk rock, Japanese literature, and Buddhism. He spent six years in Japan as an English teacher and translator. In 2004, he returned to the United States to complete his Masters in Language Education and continue his career as a language educator and cultural anthropologist with a focus on language policy and language shift. Jon is a former Myrle Clark Award recipient for excellence in creative writing and has contributed to World Film Locations: Tokyo (Intellect, 2011).

Shinsedai Special Report #2

Kick-off night for the Shinsedai Cinema Festival wrapped up at the Japanese Cultural Center here in Toronto and what a night it was!  The reception started off with a bang with the introduction of the special guests Momoko Ando (director of Kakera: A Piece of Our Life), Gen Takahashi (director of Confessions of a Dog), Akino Kondoh (animated short Ladybird’s Requiem), Yasunobu Takahashi (director of Locked Out), Tokachi Tsuchiya (director of A Normal Life, Please!), and comedian/actor Shaq (Gunman Champion).  Famed India-born Canadian director Deepa Mehta (Water, Heaven on Earth), reportedly a fan of Ando`s film, could be found in the crowd of partygoers.

The kick-off film was Momoko Ando’s Kakera, an excellent contemporary piece based on Erika Sakurazawa’s Love Vibes.  For more thoughts on Kakera and an interview with director Ando, stay tuned for a special podcast that I will be recording with Toronto J-Film Pow-Wow‘s Marc Saint-Cyr which should be up sometime shortly.

Preceding Kakera was Akino Kondoh’s short animated piece.   The short itself was a bit abstract, but the beautifully hand-drawn details of it were very admirable.  Kondoh is getting a lot of attention in the art world and, according to her site, John Zorn has used one of her pieces on the cover of his latest album.

Last screening of the night was a six-piece Kihachiro Kawamoto retrospective put together by Jasper Sharp of Midnight Eye.  The crowd had thinned out a little at this point, but a dedicated sixty or so people remained for these.  For those who don’t know, Kawamoto is an animator who makes use of dolls and stop motion animation to incredible effect.

More information to come!