Saturday, April 21, 2012

Tokyo Waka

Friday evening I attended the sold-out world premiere of Tokyo Waka at the SF International Film Festival. It's an impressionistic portrait of Tokyo, anchored on the city's conspicuous crow population. I found the information about crows startling. We see them aggressively attacking humans, making & using hooked tools, & calculatedly positioning walnuts in traffic, so that cars will crush the shells for them. We also get interviews with a broad range of Tokyo residents, including a simply confounding encounter with a homeless woman who does not look like a homeless person you would expect to find in any country. Very tall filmmakers John Haptas & Kristine Samuelson were present & described how they found a Tokyo apartment through craigslist & then went out every day for 5 months to film the city. They both learned rudimentary Japanese in order to approach their interview subjects more comfortably. A reception followed the screening in the SuperFrog Gallery upstairs, where attendees drank wine & played with the interactive exhibits by Karolina Sobecka.

Tokyo Waka lasts barely 70 minutes, & it was preceded by a dowdy 20 minute film which seemed to be about a horse's ass. When it was over, a man behind me muttered in relief, "Finally!"

§ Tokyo Waka
directors: John Haptas, Kristine Samuelson
USA/Japan, 2012, 63 min

Postcard From Somova, Romania
Andreas Horvath, Austria/Romania 2011, 20 min

55th San Francisco International Film Festival
Fri, Apr 20    6:15 / FSC
Sun, Apr 22    1:30 / PFA
Wed, May 2    3:15 / Kabuki

No comments: