It’s not very unusual for a film to look good on paper, but fail in its final product; two-thirds of Roger Corman’s movies fall into this category. What’s interesting is when a film sounds so terrible, but turns out perfect, almost magical, in its execution. Documentary director Tetsuaki Matsue should feel lucky that he never had to pitch his 2009 concert documentary and our Trailer Thursday selection, Live Tape, to a producer because he would have had his sore ass sitting on a cold Shinjuku sidewalk as soon as his pitch started with, “So, I’m going to follow my friend around while he’s playing his guitar and singing.”
So, bravo to Tetsuaki Matsue’s independent filmmaking guff and inexpensive technology (the budget for the film was literally the cost of the digital tape it was recorded on), for being able to skip the big producer (and cold sidewalk) and film something as low tech, yet soulful as Live Tape. The film is about, well, Matsue following his friend, the eternally-sunglassed Kenta Maeno, around while he’s playing guitar and singing. While the trailer tries to make the film a little more grandiose than it actually is, the beauty of the seventy-ish minute film is the more private moments of the film when you feel like you and Matsue are just hanging out on your way to the park, with the winter sun setting in the background.
Live Tape and Matsue’s 2009 documentary Annyong Yumika will be screened in London next week (11/25/10 and 11/27/10, respectively) as part of the Zipangu Fest. Check out their website for further details.