03 April 2020

Eri Sasaki's FUNSUS CM

The brilliant young animator Eri Sasaki (ささき えり, b. 1995) has made a delightful short animation for the clothing brand Studio Clip to promote their FUNSUS (ファンサス) campaign. Their motto is that their brand is both fun and sustainable.

Sasaki first came to my attention in 2017, with her TamaGra work Essay in the Desert (さばくのエッセイ/ Sabaku no Essei, 2017). She went on to do her MA at Geidai. Her graduate work, Pickle Plum Parade (うめぼしパトロール/Umeboshi Patōru, 2019), was one of the highlights of last year’s Geidai selection at Nippon Connection. Check out more of her work on her website: https://sasakieri.com/

See also:

2020 Cathy Munroe Hotes

02 April 2020

Nippon Connection Film Festival Goes Online!

Virtual Edition of the 20th Nippon Connection Japanese Film Festival
June 9-14, 2020
Nippon Connection has just announced that due to the spread of the novel coronavirus Covid-19, they have decided that it is necessary for the safety of visitors, guests, and volunteers to move the festival online.

The festival director, Marion Klomfass states that cancelling “the festival was not an option for us. Thus, after intense exchanges with our sponsors and cooperation partners, we have decided to hold Nippon Connection’s 20th anniversary in an online edition from June 9 – 14, 2020. We hope to make the best of a difficult situation and are looking forward to new challenges.”

The Nippon Connection team is currently hard at work on a new concept. Under the title Nippon Connection Online, a diverse selection of current Japanese short and feature length films will be presented alongside interactive offerings such as live streams and panel discussions with filmmakers.

The film programme director, Florian Höhr says that in spite of “the current crisis, giving Japanese cinema and its creators a public platform here in Germany is a great concern to Nippon Connection. Taking the festival online will continue to allow us to give our audience a varied view into the contemporary landscape of Japanese cinema.”

Florian has been in contact with me about plans for the short animation programme. With so many filmmakers suffering from the cancellation of events promoting their works we hope that this will be an opportunity for both audiences and film lovers to find hope in these dark times.

Cathy Munroe Hotes
April 2, 2020

24 March 2020

Playlist: Music of the Visual World

With so many people in the world being housebound at the moment due to the covid-19 epidemic, I thought I would put together some playlists for people who love animation as much as I do.  

I am starting with the selection that I put together for Nippon Connection in 2018, as most of the films can be found on line. The theme that year was music, so I have included links to the artists whose music features in the animations, so you can also support these musicians by streaming / buying their music during this difficult time of cancelled live events.

The first work in the programme, Moving Colors, is a group project featuring the work of 12 animation creators (aka Taku Team) with each team member representing their favourite colour. The title design is by Taku Furukawa (the Taku of the Team name), experimental animation pioneer and mentor to the professional animators in the team. The team consists of: Takuma Hashitani (orange), Waboku (aka Wataru Nakajima, brown), Hakhyun Kim (purple) Yoshiyuki Kaneko (black), Shiho Morita (red), Moe Koyano (raspberry/turquoise), Yū Tamura (green), Yasuaki Honda (crimson), Yewon Kim (mint), Tomoyoshi Joko (blue) and Hiroco Ichinose (gold).

Moving Colors by TAKU TEAM, 2016

Cosmic by Hiroco ICHINOSE of Decovocal, 2009

How Low Sympathy
by Decovocal / Music by scenarioart, 2014

Slowly Rising
by Hideki INABA / Music by BEATSOFREEN (aka Stan Forebee), 2015

Slowly Rising from kanahebi on Vimeo.

On + On
by Akihiko TANIGUCHI / Music by Cumhur Jay, 2016

Cumhur Jay - On & On - "Dyschronometria" from Akihiko Taniguchi on Vimeo.

The State of Things
by Ryo ORIKASA / Music by Tamaki Roy, 2017

by Sarina NIHEI / Music by Whitney, 2016

Whitney - Polly (Official Music Video) from Sarina Nihei on Vimeo.

Mad Love
by Ryōji YAMADA / Music by Keita SANO, 2017

La Madrague “Country of Westering Sun” マドラグ(西陽の国)
by Yuki HAYASHI / Music by youcan ゆーきゃん, 2017 
- the music video is not available online at the moment, but the song can be streamed

What is available online is an earlier work by Hayashi: his music video for moskitoo's Fragments of a Journey (2014), which screened in my 2015 Nippon Connection selection.

The Synesthesia Ghost
by Atsushi MAKINO / Music by Sasanomaly, 2015

I’ve Got to Take the Laundry In
by Naoya SANUKI / Music by Siamese Cats, 2016

Enjoy Music Club
by Whoppers (Naoya SANUKI and Zuck), 2017

Spring Time - Old Man 青春おじいさん
by Hōji TSUCHIYA / Music by Uri NAKAYAMA, 2017

A Long Dream
by Hōji TSUCHIYA, 2016

Oldman Youngman 加賀遼也 
by Ryoya KAGA, 2016

lilac (bombs Jun Togawa)
by ONIONSKIN / Music by Vampillia, 2015

Nandaka Mou なんだかもう
by ONIONSKIN / Music by Kidori Kidori, 2016

TO & KYO とう と きょう
by Tsuneo GODA, 2017

2020 Cathy Munroe Hotes