I just wanted to post a quick reminder of this Friday’s Annyong Kimchee screening and lecture on jishu eiga at SOAS, details of which (including directionts) can be found here. It’s one of a number of events leading into the main week of full on Zipangu Fest excitement, and more specifically, cues up another free event taking place during the festival in which I’ll be interviewing this frontrunner of the Japanese indie scene in person, again at SOAS, from 3pm on the afternoon of the Wednesday 24th November. Details of this can be found on this page on the Zipangu Fest website, as can info about screenings of Matsue’s two most recent films, Live Tape and Annyong Yumika.
Tetsuaki Matsue in Conversation at Zipangu Fest, 24th November 2010
All of this, as well as the number of flyers going out around town, should leave you into no doubt that both Matsue and the subject of his exhilarating one-take opus Live Tape, Kenta Maeno, as well as the Chinese harpist Yuki Yoshida, will all be at the festival – you can see all of these guys on stage at Cafe 1001 on the evening of Thursday 25th, plus a screening of Rock Tanjo, Akihiro Murakane’s brilliant documentary on the genesis of Japanese prog rock music in the 1970s, all for a mere fiver. Yes, you read that correctly – two feature-length films and a live set for only five pounds!!! Now where else are you going to get a deal like that anywhere else in London?
Akihiro Murakane’s brilliant rockumentary Rock Tanjo at Cafe 1001, 25th Nov
These aren’t the only guests we’ve got at the first ever Zipangu Fest, but you’ll have to watch this space if you want to find out who else might be coming, or better still, sign up to the Zipangu Fest newsletter. Festival passes are scheduled to go on sale pretty soon, but they’re going to be announced to all our newsletter subscribers first, so if you want to stay ahead of the crowds….
And for those who have just stumbled onto this website with no clue as to what Zipangu Fest is, I’m appending the last press release to this post, and strongly advise you check out the festival website right away!
Press Release -Friday October 29th 2010
London’s premiere festival devoted to Japanese cinema announces programme.
During the sold-out Japanese Halloween Shlockfest Double Bill of RoboGeisha and Big Tits Zombie 3D at London’s Barbican Centre on October 29th, festival director Jasper Sharpannounced the full lineup of the inaugural Zipangu Fest, to be held at various venues across the East End of London from November 23rd to 28th.
Zipangu Fest begins on Tuesday, November 23rd with a special event entitled Nippon Year Zero: Japanese Experimental Film from the 1960s-1970s, presented in collaboration with Close-Up at the Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club. This retrospective programme will introduce audiences to the early Japanese avant-garde filmmaking scene with rare screenings of works by three landmark figures, Donald Richie, Motoharu Jonouchi and Masanori Oe, who captured the zeigeist they were intrinsically a part of, articulating themselves in ways that range from the poetic to the abrasive.
The festival officially gets underway on Wednesday 24th with the Zipangu Fest Opening PARTY @ Café 1001 on Brick Lane, featuring the UK PREMIERE of Pyuupiru 2001 – 2008, Daishi Matsunaga’s moving documentary charting the physical, psychological and artistic metamorphosis of the flamboyant transgender artist Pyuupiru. The evening will also feature a selection of shorts and a screening of Rackgaki – Japanese Graffiti, a documentary examining Japan’s explosive graffiti scene, and concludes with a set from London’s top Japanese DJ ‐Tomoki Tamura + SUPERMETHOD. Tickets for the whole evening cost £5.
The following evening, on Thursday 25th, Zipangu Fest will continue at Café 1001 with the Live Tape ‘Live’ Night @ Café 1001, a musical-themed evening that sees the UK PREMIERES of Rock Tanjo: The Movement 70s, a documentary looking at the birth of ‘New Rock’ in 1970s Japan featuring interviews and performances from bands including the Flower Travellin’ Band, and Live Tape, the award-winning one-take concert film featuring singer-songwriter Kenta Maenothat has been making waves at festivals around the world. OSpecial Festival Guest, Live Tape dTetsuaki Matsue, be in attendance to introduce his film, which will be followed by a live set by Maeno accompanied by Yuki Yoshida on the Chinese Harp. Tickets for the entire evening cost £5.
Friday November 26th sees Zipangu Fest moving to Genesis Cinema in Mile End where our Main Festival Programme begins with Yuriko’s Aroma, Kota Yoshida’s humorous portrait of an aromatherapist besotted by the scent of a sweaty high-schooler, and ends with the UK Premiere of Gen Takahashi’s epic Confessions of a Dog, a gripping indictment of corruption within the Japanese police, as the CLOSING FILM on Sunday 28 November.
Other UK premieres include Annyong Yumika, an innovative documentary homage to legendary Japanese pink film actress Yumika Hayashi who was mysteriously found dead after returning home from her 35th birthday celebrations, and the second title by Zipangu Fest special guest Tetsuaki Matsue; Love & Loathing & Lulu & Ayano, a revealing drama about exploitation and abuse in Japan’s Adult Video industry, directed by the infamous Hisayasu Sato, who will be in attendance to introduce the film, and Footed Tadpoles, a quirky coming-of-age drama from Tomoya Maeno.
Zipangu Fest is also proud to be presenting a selection of some of the finest in Japanese independent animation. The Ero Guro Mash Up Night features three nightmarishly morbid works in the ‘erotic grotesque’ tradition from the underground animators Hiroshi Harada and Naoyuki Niiya, while Beyond Anime: CALF Animation features recent envelope-pushing works from Mirai Mizue, Kei Oyama, Atsushi Wada and TOCHKA.
Also featuring as part of the main programme are the Zipangu Retro screenings of two classic but very different titles rarely shown in the UK, Children of the Beehive (1948) and NN-891102 (1999). Directed by one of the masters of Japanese cinema, Hiroshi Shimizu, Children of the Beehive relates the journey of a group of war orphans (in real life all orphans taken in and raised by the director) as they are taken under the wing of a nameless soldier and set out across a shattered, postwar landscape in search of a more certain future. NN-891102, the debut feature by cult hero Go Shibata, depicts a traumatised Nagasaki survivor’s obsession with recreating the sound of the atomic bomb.
Following the festival, a selection of titles from the programme will be screened at the Arnolfini in Bristol, from Thursday 16th – Sunday 16th December. The Arnolfini programme consists of Annyong Yumika, Children of the Beehive, Footed Tadpoles, Live Tape, NN-891102, Confessions of a Dog and a selection of shorts.
Full details and descriptions of the films featured in the Main Festival Programme and other events taking place around the main festival dates can be found on the Zipangu Fest website at: http://zipangufest.com.