Daily Archives: May 10, 2007

Adolescent Sex in Oberhausen [Chicago Reader blog post, 2007]

A post on the Chicago Reader‘s blog, Bleader. — J.R.

Adolescent sex in Oberhausen

Posted By on 05.10.07 at 08:19 PM

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I’ve just returned from the 53rd International Short Film Festival in Oberhausen, Germany, where I was invited to serve on the jury of FIPRESCI, the international film critics organization. My work, apart from participating in a panel about the privatization of film experience, consisted of seeing the 64 short films in the international competition and, along with two other jurors (Oliver Baumgarten from Cologne and Alexis Tioseco from Manila), awarding one of them a prize. We picked Amit Dutta’s 22-minute Kramasha from India—a dazzling, virtuoso piece of mise en scene in 35-millimeter, full of uncanny imagery about the way the narrator imagines the past of his village and his family.

The Festival had 14 prizes in all, gave a total of 30,000 Euros to many of the winning filmmakers, and concluded with a ceremony that lasted well over two and a half hours. Part of what made the event interesting was the same default position that sustained me through the 64 shorts I saw: the notion that at a festival as genuinely international as this one, a certain education was possible, however limited, in how people in other parts of the world were living and thinking — all of which provides a potential context for better understanding some of the choices involved, conscious or otherwise, in how Americans live and think.

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Who’s Camus Anyway?

At the time of writer-director Mitsuo Yanagimachi’s Fire Festival (1985), Dave Kehr in the Reader called him the leading Japanese filmmaker of his generation. Made 20 years later, this recent Yanagimachi featureset at a Tokyo film school, and focusing on the lives of students who are about to shoot a featurehas stimulated a lot of favorable buzz since it showed at the Directors Fortnight at Cannes in 2005. In Japanese with subtitles. 115 min. (JR)… Read more »