Events Film

Yokohama French Film Festival 2004


It’s that time of the year again, when the Yokohama French Film Festival comes into town.

If you are a fan of French movies, the Yokohama French Film Festival, an annual event to be held June 16-20 this year, is a must-see. A delegation of as many as 50 French actors and filmmakers, headed by actress Emmanuelle Beart of 8 femmes fame, will be present at Pacifico Yokohama to greet filmgoers and introduce their respective films. The Yokohama French Film Festival, has annually served a tempting buffet of French movies for 12 years, making it a great occasion for moviegoers in Japan to sample the best of current French film firsthand.

Read the rest of the DAILY YOMIURI article.

Anime General

Trouble in the Japanese Animation Industry

Seems like times are getting tough in the Japanese animation industry.

Disheartened by a monthly salary that tops out at 50,000 yen, a 26-year-old animator who joined the production team a year ago said, ‘Sometimes I want to give up-I never imagined it would be like this.’ Only with parental financial support can the animator make ends meet. A single cel earns an animator 200 yen, yet might, if the image is complicated, take a whole day to make.

Read the whole ASAHI SHIMBUN article here.


GQ Japan

I love the cover image of this month’s issue of GQ Japan (the magazine’s official site has a much larger version). It features Murakami Takashi, and the lovely Sato Eriko (star of the new CUTIE HONEY film) dressed has one of his creations. The inside features a stunning pictorial of her appearing as quite a few of Murakami’s sexy figures. It’s amazing to think that she actually approaches the out-of-this-world measurements of the infamous Miss Ko2. You can see a few of the pics from the pictorial here, and a few pics of the launch event for the issue here.

For those interested, GQ Japan is designed by the Cap collective (pics from their recent GGG exhibit here). Our man in Gothenburg, Jesper, tells me that he’s in touch with a person from Cap regarding the TSiG event. This excites me to no end.

Update (16/08/21): The cover image is unfortunately no longer available.


Sonido Uzumaki

uzumaki_finalsmlTrevor’s Music Related label (now sporting a new site) is doing it again with an interesting new release. This time it’s a compilation CD going by the title SONIDO UZUMAKI, and it features a mix of Japanese and non-Japanese artists alike. Again, you can download an MP3 preview track, and that’s what got me hooked. I’ve just ordered the album (only US$10). Following is the blurb from the site, as well as the track listing.

Sonido Uzumaki is a joint project between visual artists Friends With You, Mumbleboy, GAGA Inc., and Music Related. We put togeather a sound track for their group artshow ‘Aqui Uzumaki. Sonido Uzumaki compiles a wide range of musical styles, and collection of known, and unknow groups. Original songs from groups within the music related, and audio dregs camp, plus songs from artist from around the world, never heard before. Acoustic pop, to glitched out electronic romps. Songs by, phofo, yacht, lem jay, ymck, marxy, kiiiiiii!, e*rock, shugo tokumaru, pandacrash, red colour cat, messer fur frau muller, dim dim, digiki, crusher, midori hamada, mikimi tablets, and lullatone, round out this eclectic collection of songs.

01. Phofo – “Adeos Polder (Apogee)”
02. Yacht – “House Boats Are for Losers”
03. Lem Jay – “My Friend Joel”
04. YMCK – “Pastel Candy wa Akuma no Sasayaki”
05. Marxy – “Intro to Rock”
06. Kiiiiiii! – “Kiiiiiii!!!!!!!”
07. E*rock – “Mumble Bump B”
08. Shugo Tokumaru – “Tears Below the Freezing Point”
09. Pandacrash – “Run Run”
10. Red Colour Cat – “Red Colour Cat”
11. Messer Fur Frau Muller – “Karate Feelings”
12. Dim Dim – “Twirl”
13. Digiki – “Wiki Wifi”
14. Crusher – “Hunting Little Bears”
15. Midori Hamada – “Silver Apples of the Moon”
16. Mikemi Tablets – “Shalala”
17. Lullatone – “Soothing Sounds for Puppies”

Update: Trevor suggests ordering from Darla, his American distributor. Tokumaru Shugo’s album, as well as the SONIDO UZUMAKI compilation, are both available from their site. Just type in the names in the search box.

Magazines Music

Smart Max

Yesterday I picked up this month’s issue of SMART MAX (not the issue pictured above, with Sakomoto Ryuichi and Oyamada Keigo on the cover, but rather the June issue with Kiriya Kazuaki on the cover), and adult men’s street magazine, as it features a special Bonjour Essentials CD. Compiled by Bonjour Records (the great Daikanyama record shop), it features tracks by Capri Kids, Superpitcher, Captain Comatose, Black Strobe, Tiefschwarz, Cosmetique, Benji Cossa, Position Normal, and Cat Power. Haven’t listened to it yet (I’m in the process of ripping it, to then transfer on my iPod), but sounds like it’ll make for a good going-to-work soundtrack.

Update (16/08/21): The cover image is unfortunately no longer available.


Tommy heavenly6

imgMy love-hate relationship with Tommy february6/heavenly6 continues. I’ve talked about my falling out with her february6 personna, and now it’s time for her heavenly6 self to do the same. I was quite looking forward to the “Hey My Friend” single (being a fan of the alterna-rock sounds of the previous single), only to hear something that is as bland as it gets. Someone I know put it very well, saying that “the new Tommy heavenly6 single is an extremely transparent rip-off of Avril Lavigne and Matrix-style songwriting […] painful.” The sad thing is that it really sounds like what he’s describing. Tommy, we had a good time together, but the honeymoon has now come to an end.

Events Music


Following the release of his new album ‘Random Veneziano’, Hypo makes a flying visit to the country again for a single appearance in Tokyo. With guests including label mate O.lamm, Japanese artist Sawako (who performs at this event too), and special friend Momus, the successor of Hypo’s second album ‘Karaoke A Capella’ sees the Frenchman gear up and gain both speed and pop-compatibility. Somewhat a curiosity in the age of the laptop computer, Hypo juggles MD decks, turntables, mixers and other gear, and at this event it will be particularly interesting to see how he handles all this in a live set, and how the completion of the album affected his performance style. (REALTOKYO)

hypoThe show takes place at the Warszawa Fourth Floor venue in Kichijoji on June 14 (19:00-23:00). Admission is only 1500 yen, and includes a drink. More info here.

Events Film

Short Shorts Film Festival 2004

‘Biting sharpness, a lingering afterglow, and the fire of a rough diamond.’ According to Short Shorts representative, actor Bessho Tetsuya, these are the attributes that make short films so attractive. One of the outstanding titles among the 1,481 entries that were submitted for this festival’s sixth installment include ‘Lost In Translation’ maker Sophia Coppola’s ‘Lick the Star’. It is reportedly some kind of prototype of the director’s film ‘The Virgin Suicides’, and this alone should be reason enough to watch it. Also on the program in this Olympic year are a number of Greek contributions. ‘Short Shorts Asia’, by the way, which is going to be held in October, is still calling for entries, so I recommend all filmmakers and video artists to send their works. (REALTOKYO)

Get more info at the official site.