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 Japan Earthquake
Brian Camp
Posted: Mar 12 2011, 08:46 AM


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I went to the start of the Yakuza series at Japan Society on Wed. and got to see THE YAKUZA (1975) and participate in a Q&A with Paul Schrader afterwards. I was going to start a thread and tell all about it, but I find it too hard to write about it amidst the news of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. I'm going to a film festival today to see screenings of two new anime films, which I'm obligated to see and review, but it's a safe bet I'm not going to be watching any Godzilla or Gamera films anytime soon.

Over on the Morning Musume board, we've been scrambling to get word on the whereabouts and safety of our members in Japan (all safe) as well as that of our favorite J-pop stars. Three former members of Morning Musume are not yet accounted for, so I won't be able to relax until I hear about them.

I have friends over there, one of whom got back to me that she's safe. Ryo Nagasawa, who was the film curator at Japan Society here (NYC) from 2005-2009, is back in Japan, but she hasn't responded to any e-mails since returning there in 2009, not to mine or any of her other friends I've run into. She lives far from the epicenter anyway, so I'm assuming she's safe, but if any of her other friends who visit this board hear any news, please let me know.

Kind of reminds me of Dec. 26, 2004, when the tsunami hit South Asia and we were scrambling here to get word of Yvonne's safety.

EDIT (nearly a day later): The three missing MM members turned up safe.

This post has been edited by Brian Camp on Mar 13 2011, 05:03 AM


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Michael Wells
Posted: Mar 13 2011, 06:42 PM


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At a loss for words but feel like I should say something. This is the sort of mind-numbing event I associate with movies and history books, not the quotidian here-and-now. I can barely even process the images and reports from northern Japan.

Do we have any Japan-based board members now?


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Peter Nepstad
Posted: Mar 13 2011, 08:33 PM


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Watching BBC News around the clock myself, feels like a nightmare made real.

It seems like whenever a disaster occurs people want to shun disaster movies. But it is worth remembering that the original GODZILLA movie was made by people who knew exactly what citywide destruction looked like, had lived through it, and was afraid it would happen again. Watching it again now might actually recapture some of the feeling that original audience members might have felt while watching it.

Also thinking of the movie PONYO, in which an entire town is completely destroyed by a tsunami, and citizens organize to look for survivors. It is a magical movie but one that respects the destructive power of the ocean.

-- Peter


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Kim Greene
Posted: Mar 13 2011, 08:50 PM


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Yeah, it's so messed up what's happening in Japan---the only good news I've heard so far is that the possible nuclear accidents at the plants there can be averted--they're working on that as we speak.

I have to admit all those old Godzilla films ran through my mind too, particularly the ones in which major disasters involving floods/destruction of cities took place. That got me to wondering what happened to some of my current favorite J-actors/actresses and whether they managed to get out safely. This past Friday, the local news reported on a flight in Japan heading back to Detroit was about to take off when the earthquake suddenly hit---they wound up stranded for 4 hours on the runway because the ground was shaking too hard for them to even attempt a race to takeoff. They made it back here in one piece, though, which was good.

@Mr. Camp

I'm not into J-pop at all, but I though maybe this book particular book titled J-POP LOVE SONG by Shiree McCarver might interest you---it's about an African-American screenwriter who's lived in Japan for years and writes a script for a major J-pop singer who wants to make his movie debut. Yeah, it's a romance, and yeah, they gradually hook up, but it does give some interesting insights into the daily life/creation and image molding of a J-pop star. Plus the author's a J-pop fan also, which inspired the book. Worth checking out, even though I didn't get to finish the book.

This post has been edited by Kim Greene on Mar 13 2011, 08:59 PM
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Yi Lee
Posted: Mar 14 2011, 11:27 AM


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Hey,

Would anyone here be interested in doing something like Doug Dillaman's "Watching crap for Christchurch" thread:

http://z8.invisionfree.com/MHVF/index.php?showtopic=12638

Then we try to get in touch with Miles Wood, Victor Boston (whose wife is Japanese), and former Mobian Micheal Kerpan (whose wife is also Japanese?), and paypal whatever money we raise to wherever those three tell us to? Reach out to August Ragone and Keith Aiken not to mention Dan Snoke and see where their Japanese connections lead to tell us where aid can be sent?

Working through church we're still dealing with aid related to '04 pan-Asia tsunami; '08 China; '10 Haiti; '08, '11 Pakistan but we don't really have any Japanese connections. And we need to do something because of the three big nuclear reactor cores on fritz on top of the aftershock that's sure to come.
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Brian Camp
Posted: Mar 14 2011, 11:47 AM


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Well, the star of Korea's "Winter Sonata" knows where his bread is buttered:

http://www.tokyohive.com/2011/03/bae-yong-...isaster-relief/

Me, I'm probably going to throw my dough in wherever the kids on the Morning Musume board decide. J-pop Aid...in the house!

This post has been edited by Brian Camp on Mar 14 2011, 11:49 AM


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Yi Lee
Posted: Mar 14 2011, 12:05 PM


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People,

I'm not joshing here. Let's really get in touch with people with real on-the-ground Japanese connections and try to figure out where we can send money or assistance. Mobius is movie based and Doug Dillaman's post seems to be a real movie-based way to raise money for assistance.

I've got a Japanese "cousin" (former fiancee of a real cousin) and Japanese mates from grad school whom I can consult plus pan-Asian Buddhist NGO Tzu Chi and Jet Li's One Foundation have a pretty good track record of effective disaster assistance. But suppose you're some white guy from Kansas who really digs Asian cinema, hasn't been out of the country, can only speak English, and wants to genuinely do something but doesn't know how to get started. Well, we got some real "old Japan Hands" on this board who probably have some inkling on how to "do right" in this situation. I for one, barring using my own personal connections, would be happy to give where our own in-house/board Japanese experts tell us to give, because I would think they should have some real on-the-ground feedback telling them what needs to be done.
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Keith Aiken
Posted: Mar 14 2011, 12:57 PM


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Yi Lee, I think that's a great idea and thank you for including me. I spent most of Friday checking on friends in Japan (I didn't realize until then just how many people I knew over there) and feel very blessed that all of them are okay.

I also got in touch with contacts at the US offices of Toho and companies like VIZ and FUNimation that are either Japan-based or have Japanese connections to ask for suggestions regarding donations for relief efforts. They highly recommended organizations like the Red Cross and Salvation Army, plus...

Japan Society's Japan Earthquake Relief Fund: http://www.japansociety.org/news

The Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California's Northern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund: http://www.jcccnc.org/

On my site <http://www.scifijapan.com/articles/> I've added banner links for all the recommended relief organizations; you'll find them on the right-hand sidebar.

I'm also looking into other options to offer help. If anyone has any suggestions or would like to put together a pledge drive or other effort please let me know and I'll do my best to spread the word.


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Keith
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August Ragone
Posted: Mar 14 2011, 06:21 PM


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In the aftermath of this terrible disaster, a consortium of Japanese Cinema bloggers and writers, including Chris McGee, Jon Jung, Jasper Sharp, Tom Mes, Kimberly Lindbergs, Jason Gray, Aaron Gerow, Patrick Macias, Todd Brown, Emi Ueyama, and many others, have banded together to help raise money for Tohoku Earthquake relief, by endorsing and supporting the Japan Society of New York's "Japan Society's Earthquake Relief Fund". Please join us in this dire time for Japan and her people — many of whom are friends, family and loved ones.



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August Ragone
Special Features Producer GAMERA on DVD
Author EIJI TSUBURAYA: MASTER OF MONSTERS
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Brian Camp
Posted: Mar 14 2011, 08:29 PM


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Wow, the thread's come full circle back to Japan Society, exactly where it started.

Thanks for that link, August. I just added it to my blog and will write a check tomorrow.



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Brian Camp
Posted: Mar 15 2011, 09:29 AM


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QUOTE (Peter Nepstad @ Mar 13 2011, 08:33 PM)
Also thinking of the movie PONYO, in which an entire town is completely destroyed by a tsunami, and citizens organize to look for survivors. It is a magical movie but one that respects the destructive power of the ocean.

-- Peter

I have to disagree about PONYO. I don't think it respects that power at all. Look at the scenes from Japan today and compare them to the quiet, almost idyllic way the water covers the town in PONYO and the complete lack of death or disruption. Everyone seems to think they're on a Sunday outing and they all look quite indulgently on the little creature who caused the flooding. There's no sense of outrage or urgency and they all seem overly concerned in bringing together the little boy and Ponyo instead of getting angry and worrying about losing their homes, belongings and livelihoods. In fact, I found this quite offensive.

BTW, I responded to Sheldon's latest shilling by asking him to stop. He even promotes something called SUSHI TYPHOON. Absolutely tasteless and an affront to the board. Can we do anything about it?

This post has been edited by Brian Camp on Mar 15 2011, 03:33 PM


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Yi Lee
Posted: Mar 15 2011, 12:28 PM


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Hey,

Three quick points this afternoon:

1) I'm staying at my mom's place in Atlanta right now, which happens to have a Japanese consulate in town. Having talked to someone from there, he pointed out that--for the American Southeast at least--the government's promoting on-line Red Cross donations. And lo, on the website, there's a link to said page:

https://american.redcross.org/site/Donation...orm1&df_id=5052
http://www.atlanta.us.emb-japan.go.jp/

If you've also got a consulate nearby, they can provide additional instruction and information that may be more germane to your area.

2) The guy there also reminded me that there should be lots of Cherry Blossom Festivals across the US in places with significant ethnic Japanese communities. At a local one last year, we helped gather money and aid for the recent quake in Haiti. For people who might adverse to doing a monetary transactions on-line, you can probably give money or donate foodstuffs at your local Cherry Blossom Festival occurring sometime later this month.

3) Lastly, ABC's Nightline been doing some really good mainstream reporting from Sendai:

http://abcnews.go.com/watch/nightline/SH55...pans-earthquake
http://abc.go.com/watch/nightline/SH558474...pans-earthquake

The two episodes are from March 14th and 11th, respectively. In those videos, the local Japanese Red Cross are heavily featured.

[Edit]: Added some helpful info for those pursuing electronic giving:

http://blogs.consumerreports.org/money/201...g-to-japan.html
http://lifehacker.com/#!5782019/how-to...getting-scammed

This post has been edited by Yi Lee on Mar 15 2011, 01:40 PM
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Doug Dillaman
Posted: Mar 15 2011, 03:25 PM


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For what it's worth, my friend in Tokyo recommends https://www.mercycorps.org/donate/japan as a great place for donations - apparently, they're one of the most efficient organizations as far as utilizing a high proportion of their donations to actual service, and they (or, technically, their partner organization) are on the ground now helping.

I might see about trying to organize a similar screening-type event for Japan in April, depending on how Crap Movies For Christchurch goes. As it happens, I have a ticket booked to Tokyo for April 1st for a week ... we'll see how that pans out.
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Brian Camp
Posted: Mar 16 2011, 07:19 AM


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QUOTE (Brian Camp @ Mar 15 2011, 09:29 AM)

BTW, I responded to Sheldon's latest shilling by asking him to stop. He even promotes something called SUSHI TYPHOON. Absolutely tasteless and an affront to the board. Can we do anything about it?

Well, so much for that. huh.gif


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Miles Wood
Posted: Mar 16 2011, 09:02 PM


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QUOTE (Brian Camp @ Mar 15 2011, 09:29 AM)
BTW, I responded to Sheldon's latest shilling by asking him to stop. He even promotes something called SUSHI TYPHOON. Absolutely tasteless and an affront to the board. Can we do anything about it?

Looking at Sushi-Typhoon's website, there seems little to get upset about...they are a branch of Nikkatsu seemingly aimed at the Western 'cult' market, for want of a better description. That sort of stuff is of no real interest to me, but if you're trying to keep abreast of all things Japanese it's maybe not a bad thing to be aware of it.

To be honest Brian, this board (like the Asian DVD Forum) is, sadly, pretty much dead now. There's more discussion of Asian films to be found in the comments sections on Torrent sites these days, or on Facebook. Sure, for old times sake I keep coming back here but there's little reason to be honest...people have drifted away with no new faces to replace them. So as far as material being "an affront to the board"...

I don't see any reason to get upset by Sheldon's posts. I think it's already been established that he's not spamming for companies even though that's what it might look like on the surface, right? Sure you may not like the kind of stuff he's "promoting", but some might find your beloved Japanese seifuku idols equally nauseating and troubling. laugh.gif

This post has been edited by Miles Wood on Mar 16 2011, 09:02 PM
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Brian Camp
Posted: Mar 17 2011, 08:50 AM


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QUOTE (Miles Wood @ Mar 16 2011, 09:02 PM)
Looking at Sushi-Typhoon's website, there seems little to get upset about...they are a branch of Nikkatsu seemingly aimed at the Western 'cult' market, for want of a better description. That sort of stuff is of no real interest to me, but if you're trying to keep abreast of all things Japanese it's maybe not a bad thing to be aware of it.

To be honest Brian, this board (like the Asian DVD Forum) is, sadly, pretty much dead now. There's more discussion of Asian films to be found in the comments sections on Torrent sites these days, or on Facebook. Sure, for old times sake I keep coming back here but there's little reason to be honest...people have drifted away with no new faces to replace them. So as far as material being "an affront to the board"...

I don't see any reason to get upset by Sheldon's posts. I think it's already been established that he's not spamming for companies even though that's what it might look like on the surface, right? Sure you may not like the kind of stuff he's "promoting", but some might find your beloved Japanese seifuku idols equally nauseating and troubling. laugh.gif

My mistake about Sushi Typhoon. I thought it was a film being promoted. But you can understand that I wasn't in much of a mood to do further research.

And there's no hope for anybody who finds musical expressions of exuberance and joy "equally nauseating and troubling." tongue.gif


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Terry Barhorst, Jr.
Posted: Mar 17 2011, 10:28 AM


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There's some useful info/links at the Embassy of Japan in the United States of America:


Embassy of Japan in the United States of America

This post has been edited by Terry Barhorst, Jr. on Mar 17 2011, 10:29 AM


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Brian Camp
Posted: Mar 18 2011, 08:23 AM


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QUOTE (Brian Camp @ Mar 12 2011, 08:46 AM)
I have friends over there, one of whom got back to me that she's safe. Ryo Nagasawa, who was the film curator at Japan Society here (NYC) from 2005-2009, is back in Japan, but she hasn't responded to any e-mails since returning there in 2009, not to mine or any of her other friends I've run into. She lives far from the epicenter anyway, so I'm assuming she's safe, but if any of her other friends who visit this board hear any news, please let me know.


Was I wrong about Ryo's whereabouts. Her hometown is Tohoku, right near the epicenter. But she's in Tokyo and is all right, according to a mutual friend who just e-mailed me.


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Brian Camp
Posted: Mar 30 2011, 08:07 AM


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My friend Ryo helped set up a website called Filmmakers for Japan. Here's the link:
http://www.filmmakersforjapan.com/

It includes messages in several languages including a touching promise from Wim Wenders.

Also, here's a message from Ryo that was forwarded to me:


Dear Friends,

It has been 1 week since the massive earthquake and tsunami hit Tohoku and Kanto
region. Many people are still suffering from the loss of loved ones, hunger, the cold
and anxiety.

In a time like this, for those who used to go to cinemas, films they have seen might
give them a little strength to live through this difficult time. In a hope that films will
continue to encourage them, and that films will once again become a part of their
lives, please help me collect messages from film directors to the film fans in the
stricken area.

Directors’ messages will be uploaded to the website of FORUM (cinemas in Yamagata,
Fukushima, Sendai, Morioka, Hachinohe and Higashine) as they come, meanwhile I
look for ways to deliver the messages to as many people as possible.

I have already received messages from directors such as Mr. Ken Loach and Mr. Juan
Jose Campanella through a friend. Please forward this email to as many film directors
or your friends who can reach film directors, and send messages to Ryo Hashiura
(ryo@forum-movie.net).

Thank you very much for your help.

Sincerely,

Ryo Hashiura (Nagasawa)
Forum Network


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Yi Lee
Posted: Feb 24 2012, 04:51 PM


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Hey everybody,

For those out there who have access to American PBS, _Frontline_ is airing a documentary called "Inside Japan's Nuclear Meltdown," which follows the tragedy from the perspective of the scientists and engineers on the ground at the Fukushima plant. _Frontline_ invariably posts these videos onto their site but if one doesn't have an American ISP address, the show might be blocked on foreign shores (use a VPN to temporarily acquire an American address; also, Hulu sometimes hosts PBS programming):

http://video.pbs.org/video/2192790114/

Also on pre-order as R0 NTSC at Amazon but won't be released on disc until much later:

http://www.amazon.com/Frontline-Inside-Jap...30122792&sr=1-1

Some of you out there may still be involved with fundraising or aid distribution and nothing like a little viewing party to get your donors re-focused onto whatever humanitarian work you may be doing at this juncture.

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