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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Scenes From A Visit To Japan - Updated

Hi there, your humble (somewhat) author here... today I'm going to present to you a note from Mr. Joel Schlemowitz,  who e-mailed me to ask if I would help promote his film that is appearing in this year's Tribeca Film Festival, a film festival held in Manhattan, New York.

The film is called: Scenes from a visit to Japan.

What the heck, eh? Maybe one day Joel can help promote me in some way. But, to be honest, I would do this anyway, regardless of any future promotion. I have no problem in seeing anyone get ahead. It's what we all want, isn't it?

So... in Joel's own words, have a read, and sign up to watch his film when it opens online on April 18. I did, and I am looking forward to viewing it on-line and then providing a brief commentary on it. And... should you see something there regarding payment by credit card - fret not! That's only if you want the extras. That's up to you.

Now... Joel has a message below about how to sign up and watch his movie... and if you live in the U.S. of A., please follow HIS prompts to help him get some votes that he can use for a cash award.

For the  rest of us not in the U.S., we are shut out, as we can't watch the movie from THAT site - owing to a question of 'rights' as Joel put it... though I think that came from the Tribeca Film Festival itself.

However, I have conspired with someone to make sure WE can still watch the movie through a password-protected copy on Vimeo.There is no charge. Just go to Vimeo (link just below) and enter the password!

NON-USA Viewers:
password: kumamoto

USA viewers, read the following:   
For Joel's movie, just sign up with an e-mail and password and then watch the movie when it first becomes available on April 18 @ 10AM EST.

Here's a note for the US viewers from Joel:


I wanted to let you know about my film showing in the Tribeca Film Festival's on-line screening room.  I hope you might find it interesting enough to put up a quick post about it on your blog!  The film is a visually poetic journey to Japan that I shot last year to convey impressions from my first trip there, and it is showing at the Tribeca Film Festival this month.  "Scenes from a visit to Japan" can be seen from April 18th to April 25th in the Tribeca Film Festival's on-line screening room.  It is also eligible for a cash award if enough people view and vote for it.

The film was shot on super-8, it's 14 minutes long and divided into three sections.  You will need to create a Tribeca Film Festival username and password to view the film.

Joel Schlemowitz

So... there you have it! Hopefully when it opens up, you can all have a peek. Why not? How often does one get to see a movie for FREE at an honored film festival?

Now... I have already watched the movie on Vimeo on Friday afternoon. I enjoyed it. Quirky, yes, but highly entertaining. One of my favorite film techniques used by Joel was a choppy panorama of the Great Buddha of Kamakura, which I wrote about HERE. I also liked his building of speed via transportation up to the frenetic approach of some signs - which are everywhere in Japan.

The best compliment I can give Joel... I watched it, loved it, and am telling you all to give it a view. Two thumbs up!

Enjoy the show!

Andrew Joseph


  1. That's because you are every bit as curious as I am!

  2. Here's a note from Joel, the filmmaker, himself!

    Hi Andrew,

    Thank you for all your feedback. I really appreciate what you're saying too about how the film is not about death and destruction. While there with my camera I kept wondering how to address the tragedy that had happened just two months earlier. And so much of the experience of being there was about a fascinating, complex country -- something that couldn't be reduced to one thing. So I was puzzled the whole time while shooting about what I should set out to say.

    Finally in the editing process I unraveled the answer. The prayers at the shrine and the visit to ancestral grave became a place for quiet reflection, implicitly a way to morn what had happened without descending into pathos. It wasn't so much scouted as something where we just tried to see as much as we could in the short space of time we were there.

    The beautiful woman is my wife. Her family is in Kyushu and we were there so that I could meet the members of her family who couldn't come out for the wedding.

    Thanks again for your support and comments.

    all the best