Seventh Art and The Cove…
The Juso area in Osaka might possibly not to everyone’s taste. It is a little noisy and not particularly elegant.
But if you search attentively, you will find a real cinematographic pearl hidden in the ocean of Pachinko parlors, bars and what have you. The “Dainana Geijutsu Gekijo or, if you prefer, “The Seventh Art Theater” can be found among a jungle of signboards, on the sixth floor of a building full of all sorts of businesses.
We paid them a visit, as we were eager to have our our movie “Looking For Anne” played in this famous Art House Theater in Osaka. Not only does it play top quality movies, but it also shows a lot of courage in defending the freedom of expression of filmmakers from all over the world.
We really had a nice and long conversation with the owner, Matsumura San. His cinema went through a lot fascinating fights and victories over the years. The most recent one was about the scandal of the movie called Yasukuni, by Chinese director Li Ying and for which you can find information on the Internet… Matsumura San was the first one to play it in Osaka, despite the boycott and strong opposition from many right wing extremists. The movie eventually ended up making a big hit all over Japan following his courageous stand for freedom of expression… Matsumura San also teaches on the side, in order to have a little security, as many other theater owners do. We met so many teachers who own Art House Cinemas, you wouldn’t believe!…
Anyways, things were going very well and we left a DVD copy of our film, expecting to hear quite soon from our new friend and movie lover. And of course, hoping that he would want to play our film in the Seventh Art Theater.
But all this was before the new major incident surrounding the opening of the important documentary “The Cove”. Several groups are threatening the release of the film and Matsumura San has his hands full right now with the controversy. We do hope that he will win his battle for the freedom of expression and against the unacceptable repression. We can wait a little longer: the access to information is more important than anything else. Meanwhile, please screen this and see for yourself if such a movie deserves to be seen by the largest number of people or not: