24 April 2020

The World of Ryōji Yamada / 山田遼志の世界

The World of Ryōji Yamada / 山田遼志の世界

In the “before times”, when we were still able to meet in small groups in Japan, I was able to attend one of the The World of Ryōji Yamada ( 山田遼志の世界) special screening events hosted by tampen.jp. The screening selection featured a mix of Yamada’s acclaimed animated shorts and his commissioned works (music videos).

Waiter (2014)
Popping, Mixing (2012)
LaLaLa Brothers (2011)
Keita SANO’s ‘Mad Love’ (music video, 2017)
King Gnu’s ‘Prayer X’ (music video, 2018)
Doodle Project II (2019)
Kicell’s ‘Hitotsu dake Kaeta’ / キセル「ひとつだけ変えた」(music video, 2018)
Natsu to Suisei’s ‘27th’ / 夏と彗星「27th」 (music video, 2020)
WONK’s ‘Cyberspace Love’ (music video, 2017)
Hunter (2017)
handshake (2018)
Firehead (2019)

Yamada has an MFA in Animation from Tama Art University, and in 2018-2019 he had the opportunity to live in Germany as a Trainee Japanese Council Affair of Culture. During this time was a guest student of Andreas Hykade at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, and he was able to join us at Nippon Connection for a screening of his film Hunter.

I went to the event to see the film Yamada made in Germany, Firehead. I am glad that I did because I had never sat down and watched a selection of Yamada’s films altogether before and it was interesting to see how his style has developed over the years. I was also impressed by Yamada’s ability to adjust his style to suit the needs of his clients in the commissioned music videos.

Music is an integral part of Yamada’s films and the music for his independent works are composed by his long time collaborator Makoto Takahashi. I purchased a CD of the music Takahashi composed for the films at the event and it came with a fold-out poster featuring Yamada’s art.

Apart from Firehead, all the other films from the screening can be found online and I have assembled them for you below (plus the trailer for Firehead). The discussions with the director from the screenings can be found on tanpen’s YouTube Channel (JP only)

Waiter from Ryoji Yamada on Vimeo.

Doodle Project II (2019) from Dante Zaballa on Vimeo.

HUNTER from Ryoji Yamada on Vimeo.

handshake from Ryoji Yamada on Vimeo.

FIREHEAD Trailer from Ryoji Yamada on Vimeo.

Cathy Munroe Hotes 2020