Filmmaker, dog

Sion Sono's THE WHISPERING STAR

Added on by Kenta McGrath.

Tom Vincent (Perth International Arts Festival film programmer) will be hosting and I’ll be translating a Q&A with Takeshi Suzuki, the producer of Sion Sono’s The Whispering Star, as part of the Revelation International Film Festival.

The film will screen twice:

Thu 14 July, 8.45pm, Cinema Paradiso
Sat 16 July, 2.30pm, Luna Leederville

If you’re familiar with Sono’s other work, you’re in for a surprise – the film is quite a departure for him. Check out the trailer here

Revelation Academic

Added on by Kenta McGrath.

I’ll be presenting a paper titled “A War on Indirectness: Kazuo Hara’s The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On” at this year’s Revelation Academic, the academic sidebar of the Revelation International Film Festival.

Here’s the abstract:

In a cabinet meeting in Tokyo, 1941, Emperor Hirohito was presented with a final opportunity to halt the momentum for war – a war, history suggests, he was reluctant to partake in. Instead he recited a poem – an anti-war lament written by his grandfather Meiji. Broadly interpreted by those in the room as regretful approval, the war pressed on, millions of lives were lost, and Japan emerged a devastated nation. 

Kazuo Hara’s infamous 1987 documentary, The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On – featuring the unforgettable, fanatical dissident, Kenzo Okuzaki – is among a series of well-known postwar Japanese films examining the Pacific War and the Emperor’s complicity in the nation’s war involvement. What distinguishes Hara’s film is its steadfast refusal of connotative imagery, absence of poetic language, and its empirical approach in ascertaining truth – traits that mark it in radical contrast to the vast majority of Japanese cinema. 

Indeed, The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On is not merely a powerful anti-war statement; this paper considers the film as a sustained attack on indirectness – of poetry, myth, ambiguity, cinematic language, and the polite obliqueness of Japanese speech and culture more broadly – which continues to obstruct Japan’s engagement with its militant past.

Registrations here.

New shorts screening at FIDOCS

Added on by Kenta McGrath.

FIDOCS (International Documentary Film Festival of Santiago) will be screening three new shorts – Buen tiro, no hay problema, Las vacas de Albany and La hora pico – the latter is among a series of films I recently made in collaboration with Masters students at the University of Chile, under the tutelage of FIDOCS director and filmmaker Carlos Flores del Pino. I'll put up more information on these films in due course.

The shorts will be screened as part of a program for the 'gabinete' (cabinet), a 3x2m capsule viewing booth that accommodates one viewer at a time. It will be set up at the entrance to the main venue and will be free to the public.

FIDOCS runs in various venues around Santiago, 22-27 September.

Totally Huge New Music Festival Symposium

Added on by Kenta McGrath.

I'll be presenting a paper at the Totally Huge New Music Festival Symposium, which runs this year in association with the launch of the West Australian New Music Archive (WANMA) at the The State Library of WA. The theme is West Australian Art Music Activity: 1970-2014. I was asked to talk about my films No Encore and Three Hams in a Can; my paper considers how the musicians and composers featured in the films "informed the aesthetic, structure and aural strategies of these two documentaries, and how their sounds and music are received, rejected by and interact with the environments in which they are seen and heard."

Johannes Sistermanns, guest of this year's festival.

Johannes Sistermanns, guest of this year's festival.

The WANMA launch is on Wednesday May 20; the symposium will run on Thursday May 21 at The State Library of WA. The keynote speakers are Stephen Adams (Australian music producer, ABC Classic FM) and Associate Professor Cat Hope (Project leader, WANMA). Head to the Totally Huge website for all the details. Registrations here.