Waves ’98

I caught this on Mubi, a Lebanese short film (a Cannes Palme d’or winner) that’s mostly animated, but mixing in a few live-action/photographic elements. It has a dream-like or poetic structure, and so narratively I didn’t find much to latch on, but I really loved the visuals on show, beautifully animated.

Art Web

Taxi Talk

The latest entry in the excellent New Territories web series (produced in part by Anne Ferrero) is “Epilogue: Taxi Talk,” a short film that sees a taxi driver recount a tale from the past.


Droning on Inawashiro Lake

My buddy Mark McFarlane gets some hauntingly beautiful shots out of his drone, as seen in this short film. Shot over Inawashiro lake, in Fukushima prefecture. Found via Canvas.

Design Film Web



Here’s a beautiful short film by Haruka Misawa (of Misawa Design Institute). Found via my old PechaKucha colleague, Johnny.

Design Film Typography

In the Glitter


In the Glitter is a fun 6-minute short to watch, made up of Tokyo’s neon signs. Becomes mesmerizing to watch. It was made by Stephen Smith 5 years ago, and so quite a few of these no longer exist. Found via Canvas.

Design Film Web

Night Stroll


This short video dates back a few years, but it makes for a lovely night journey through areas of Tokyo — with nicely composed animated geometric graphics superimposed on most of the shots. It was created by Tangram‘s Tao Tajima. Found via Tokyo Soup.

Film Web



I’m quite looking forward to the completion of Derive, “a short film project set in Tokyo which explores the cyberpunk roots of the city,” by Cody Brendan and James Ellingham. Watch the trailer here. Found via Canvas.

Anime Film

Makoto Shinkai


I first heard the name Mokoto Shinkai the other day when my wife mentioned that his latest film, the animated Your Name (reviewed here by The Japan Times), had scored a huge box office opening since its release last week in Japan (grossing close to $40 million during its first 10 days). Not really knowing anything about him and his films, I did some digging, and decided to watch some of his work last night. I started with the film 5 Centimeters Per Second, which is made up of 3 slightly-interlocking chapters. The story of young love didn’t really grab me, but what did grab me was the stunningly beautiful animated world we’re presented with, both in terms of its hyper-real portrayal (it’s a Japan you recognize as true) and its inspired use of color. Add to this an intriguing structure and edits, and it resulted in a film I loved taking in. I then followed this up with a 6-minute short film he also directed, called Dareka no Manazashi, which I loved as well. I can’t wait to watch the rest of what he’s produced so far.

Design Events Film Games Music Web

Controller of Controller

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 10.57.50

Yesterday I wrote about this year’s edition of the Dotmov digital film festival, and I just watched one of the entries which I quite enjoyed, Controller of Controller. Directed by Densuke28, it’s an Inception-like experience of a player playing a game, and then playing a game within that game (see, told you it was Inception-like). It also features a great soundtrack by Takaaki Kawai.