Cinema Clair, Okayama

July 15, 2010 | 1 comment | Blog | Video Podcast

I know, I know… I’m way behind schedule. It’s hard to drive a few hundred kilometers every day, running around to meet theater owners, media people and what have you… I feel like sleeping when I arrive in my room.

We were first in Okayama last May and then at the beginning of June, two weeks before the opening of “Looking For Anne” at the Cinema Clair.

Super clean and sober, the Cinema Clair differs in many ways from some other independent cinemas. The schedule allowed us only two screenings per day for only one week, but we did very well at the end of June. I shot a short video of the place during the first visit.

Hamada San, the owner of the Cinema Clair, took us to the famous and impressive Korakuen Park, a National Treasure. Here are some pictures of the remarkable place definitely worth to visit, even if like me, you are not the tourist spot type.
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The Cove, Forum Cinema in Sendai, Japan

July 3, 2010 | 2 comments | Blog | Video Podcast

For several weeks now, some anonymous right wing groups have threatened movie theater owners who planned to open the movie “The Cove”. Nothing was ever clearly formulated, but they didn’t want them to play this movie that apparently spread some lies about Japan.

Mr. Nagasawa, the founder and owner of the Forum Network in Japan, thought that in a democratic society like Japan, everybody should be entitled to his or her opinion and I agree with him. Unlike some other theaters that cancelled their opening of the film, he decided to play it in some of his theaters. In order not to make any provocation, I guess, there were no posters of the movie anywhere, neither outside nor inside the theater, not even a flyer, a picture or even the title. Provocation seldom serves any purpose, at least any peaceful ones…

I could be wrong, but I have a feeling that there were a few undercover policemen in the theater, for security reason, I would guess. I had no information to that effect, but I seem to have an eye for this type. I thought of making a short video on the event…

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T-Joy Wald 11, Hiroshima

June 30, 2010 | 2 comments | Blog | Video Podcast

We opened our movie “Looking For Anne” in Hiroshima Wald 11 Cinema on the 19th of June 2010. Hiroshima is quite special for us, especially since it plays a turning role in our movie. We really wanted to make it a successful operation there and we even came back about 500 kilometers to make the campaign. I’m glad to say that it’s working as well as we had hoped for after two weeks. The third week is already confirmed and if it keeps going at this pace, we might be there for a while…

One of our sponsors for the trip, the organic food company Viva, generously offered to put some adds in the papers for us. It obviously pays off. I believe that the media campaign is part of what brings some freedom to the Independent Filmmakers and we have no problem doing what needs to be done to sell our movie. I put together a short video to give a feel of what it was like…

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Temple in Saga…

June 26, 2010 | 2 comments | Blog Post | Video Podcast

When I passed through Saga city, something like a Century ago it seems, I saw this fairly common temple. We stopped and I quickly took a few pictures. No big deal, but somehow, this is one of the reasons why I love Japan so much…SANY0034.JPG



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Twin Cinemas, Hagi

June 24, 2010 | No comments | Blog Post | Video Podcast

After more than 60 days on the roads of Japan, visiting dozens of movie theaters, there are days when I feel that there is very little hope left for cinema in this country. There are days like this when I feel that the system has been too slow in following the evolution of society, too slow in preparing the grounds for the next generations. As a filmmaker, there are days when I feel really frustrated and angry at the system that didn’t plan well and got caught at its own game…

Yet, there are days when I feel real good about the movie passion that I meet everywhere, the love for cinema that I see in the people’s eyes… The Twin Cinemas in Hagi, Yamaguchi Prefecture is such a place. The movie theater was closing down and the community decided to take it in their own hands. They even installed a 3D Projector and were playing “Alice… ” when we visited..

And on the way out from Hagi, we saw this nice little Buddhist temple with a tiny cemetery, surrounded by “Mikan” orchards. We stopped to take a look and found those interesting statues…





And we couldn’t resist buying some “mikan”. There was no one to sell them, but here is the proof that we paid for them…


This already feels like it was such a long time ago… Actually it was more than a month ago… I will try harder in the coming days…

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