KIFF Daily Report Day 3, Saturday October 14, 2017
Yoshimoto Creative Agency’s new, hot film, The Stand-in Thief, played to a packed house on Saturday morning October 14 at Yoshimoto Gion Kagetsu. The work, part screwball comedy and part touching drama, drew both guffaws of laughter and tears from the crowd. The experience was made complete when director Masafumi Nishida and actor Daisuke Miyagawa took the stage for a post-screening talk.
The clever story is based on a stage play. It follows Hajime (Ryuhei Maruyama), a hard-working twenty-something who’s got his life on track after having been in juvenile lock-up as a teenager. He was handed a tough road, orphaned at an early age and not being properly educated. Hajime finally has a job and girlfriend he adores when out of nowhere appears Norio (Miyagawa), a petty criminal who Hajime used to do robberies with. Norio uses Hajime’s past, and other threats, to blackmail him into pulling a job at a rich man’s house. They break in but are interrupted, forcing Hajime to pretend to be the owner of the house. It turns out the real owner is Maezono (Masachika Ichimura), a famous author of children’s books who is now deep in writer’s block. The scenario develops where Hajime, Maezono, an editor named Oku (Anna Ishibashi) and a door-to-door salesman called Todoroki (Yusuke Santamaria) are thrown together and must try to write a Children’s story.
After the laughter and tears of the screening the crowd was enthralled with director Nishida and actor Miyagawa, who spoke on stage. Miyagawa noted, “when I read the script I was shocked about the ending. But as the shooting progressed I realized director Nishida is really smart and knows how to film, it went really smoothly. He really took care of all of us on set.” Nishida returned the compliment, saying, “I was really impressed with Miyagawa’s body control and how he moved. This kind of acting is instinctive.” Miyagawa commented on his admiration for the entire cast. “Once we did one continuous tracking shot and it was really long. Actors had to come on and off camera. But we nailed the flow and made that shot work.”
This year marks 40 years since the passing of the great Charlie Chaplin, and 100 years since fellow giant of the silent era, Buster Keaton, was born. To mark both occasions, the KIFF presented back-to-back Japan premiers of Digital 4K Restorations of one work by each auteur.
The event was held on Saturday morning at the Toho Cinemas Nijo, with emcee Hiroyuki Oono. It began with a screening of Buster Keaton’s two-reel production One Week (1920). His first independently made short of 25 minutes tells the story of a newly married couple trying to build their pre-fabricated house, with Keaton’s classic acrobatics on display as the construction falls apart.
The film was actually inspired by a Ford Motor Company documentary called Home Made from 1919. Keaton’s parody copied many elements of the original, including the device of a calendar to count down the time it takes to build the house, hence the title One Week.
During the screening live music was performed by Kimitaka Kogo.
Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid was released the following year and was a breakthrough movie for Chaplin, his first full feature and widely considered one of the greatest films of the silent era. Where Keaton was a master of physical comedy, Chaplin would reach his audience in other innovative ways, masterfully combining drama and comedy to stir his audience’s emotions.
Chaplin himself re-mastered the film in 1971, removing scenes he deemed overly sentimental, and adding a new musical score that he composed himself.
Both works have been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."
This year’s Creator’s Factory section, initially launched at the Okinawa International Movie Festival and now held at both KIFF and OIMF, awarded four upcoming talents at an event held at Aeon Cinema Kyoto Katsuragawa on Saturday afternoon.
The “Entertainment Video Category” saw entries of movies and videos of various lengths to a maximum 60 minutes, with most being short films around 20 to 30 minutes. They were submitted in the hope of finding success in the film industry or as commercial works.
With no genre restrictions, applicants could submit works including dramatic films, period dramas, animation and music videos.
Selected entrants works have been screened at venues during this year’s KIFF with three works chosen for the Creator’s Factory Excellence Awards.
The first winner announced was Junta Yamaguchi for his work “Shall We go for Dinner Tonight. “I’ve been creating my work in Kyoto so I am delighted received those honorable award,” said Yamaguchi.
The second winner was announced as Takeshi Kobahara for his work “Nagisa” (Beach). “They are independent artists with a lot of creativity, with a lot of entrants we released these two created things more freely, most applicants lack creativity with visual images” said film historian Taichi Kasuga. “Kogahara did a great job developing the character even without much a story in his work.”
For the Grand Prix, second place went to Kazuya Murayama for his 32-minute work “Fallen”.
The Grand Prix winner was announced as Shun Nakagawa for “Kalanchoe.” “I am extremely happy so I forgot what I prepared to say!” he said. “I am now 30 and have made three works so far, the previous two didn’t gain a good reputation so I decided
I will quit if this one is not recognized. So now that I won this award I have to think about the future!”
Nakagawa received a trophy, a prize of 1 million yen, and support for his next production, after which he said, “I will do my best to continue.”
In the Art Section, applications could be made by artists in a variety of genres, including paintings, sculpture and videos. The Creator’s Factory Excellence Award winner was selected from exhibited works, with a prize of 500,000 yen.
Artist Hiroko Ichihara, whose work “Art Taxi” can be seen across Kyoto, presented the section. The winner was announced as Yoshinori Tanaka for his work “This wave continues to another wave.”
In the Children’s Category, works which draw on the free imagination of children under the age of 15 are selected from a wide range of submitted paintings and sculptures. After a preliminary screening of the entries, several were exhibited at KIFF for the jury’s selection.
Michitaka Nakamura was announced as the winner for his “Dwarf Planet Eris and Satellite Morpho.”
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