19 May 1993

New dimension for Tokyo filmmaker

INSIDE SYDNEY: The visiting Japanese filmmaker Keita Kurosaka has made a whirlwind visit to Sydney where he was special guest at Matinaze, a survey of independent films screening this month at the Art Gallery of NSW.
Kurosaka - a leading figure in Japanese independent film and a lecturer at Musashino University near Tokyo - said his first visit to Sydney had added a new dimension to his work.
The visiting Japanese filmmaker Keita Kurosaka has made a whirlwind visit to Sydney where he was special guest at Matinaze, a survey of independent films screening this month at the Art Gallery of NSW.
Kurosaka - a leading figure in Japanese independent film and a lecturer at Musashino University near Tokyo - said his first visit to Sydney had added a new dimension to his work.
"I am encouraged by Australians," he explained. "I have new confidence that my films can communicate with overseas people, rather than just for the Japanese.
"Back home people take my films very seriously and are too self-conscious to laugh.
"But here they laughed spontaneously - and the difference was very stimulating. It was a cheerful, open and lighthearted response."
However, the harbour city left Kurosaka with some curious impressions. "I am particularly surprised that the public toilets are so clean | In fact, your city is very clean and well-organised. But where are all the people? There are hardly any people |"
He explained his dazzling animations: "I want to give new possibilities to the things we take for granted. I want new angles on daily life."
While he acknowledged a debt to traditional Japanese ways, Kurosaka said"the past is not so important - we use what is good and ignore the rest. More and more in Japan, it is not past versus present but commercial versus non-commercial. TV has all the power in Japan."
Considering its population, Kurosaka said Japanese citizens give much less public support to independent cinema than Australians - and it showed in the confidence of our films and filmmakers.
"Your young filmmakers, their themes and styles are not rigid but more relaxed and smooth," he summed up.
The Matinaze screenings continue on Saturday with a program of Japanese films including Kurosaka's latest work The Age of Box.
Caption: Port: Keita Kurosaka explained that his Sydney visit would add a new dimension to his work. Picture by PAUL JONES
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Publication: Sydney Morning Herald
Publication date: 18-5-1993
Edition: Late
Page no: 2
Section: News and Features
Length: 465
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First published in The Sydney Morning Herald

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