My Akoha History #23 – About Shinya Tsukamoto

“What Are You Watching Right Now?” played July 9, 2011. Do you need to be told what this mission was about? For me this would imply movie, but I’m sure it could have been turned into anything. But since when have I ever bothered to watch anything other than something on the television? Though I must say if I was going to see something other than a monitor, it would be Steam Powered Giraffe on a stage. Those automatons had my heart ever since I heard Honeybee weeks ago.

Back to the mission! On that day, I was fascinated with a short film made by Shinya Tsukamoto, a Japanese director/actor who caught my attention sometime after high school. The majority of topics deal with extremes of emotion, and how they can change people in incredibly nasty ways. Given that a lot of what I would normally say at this point has already been said by my past self I’ll just let him speak…

Snippets of a short film called “Haze“, a 2005 film written and directed by Shinya Tsukamoto. First got introduced to Tsukamoto via his film “Tetsuo: The Iron Man”, which me and a friend got an interest in through a trailer found on another DVD. I believe it was “Old Boy”? “Tetsuo” was a bizarre change in seeing film, and while it sickened my friend, I was fascinated.

I sadly haven’t seen that much of Tsukamoto’s work, though I’ve always wanted to change this. “Haze” is one such film that caught my eye, but I can’t seem to find a copy of this SHORT film. Yeah, a short film made in 2005, and I can’t seem to find it. Anyway, the claustrophobic and deadly atmosphere in showed intrigued me, as did the style at which he filmed it. Zoomed in on the face almost the whole time and in almost total darkness? The heck?

Given time (and money), I’m sure I’ll be able to find a copy somewhere. For now, I’ll have to suffice with what I can find on YouTube and other video sites. Certainly knows how to whet the appetite, that is for sure.

I think Shinya Tsukamoto can be considered akin to some of the early YouTube movie makers who had found a medium to be artistic with and just went all out with it. An M dot Strange of yesteryear, you know? It may be overly presumptuous of me to say it, but to him I think it’s not just about making films for the lot to enjoy, but about making art and exploring ideas he’s invested in. Besides being very particular of what shots he wanted as a director, he acts in almost all his films, usually playing an important role as well. Like Kevin Smith, only not an American geek but a hella serious director who’s asking questions most people are too uncomfortable to even consider. There’s a hell of a lot of envy coming from me in that regard, and it would be a dream to work along the same lines.

And since seeing Tetsuo: The Iron Man, my horizon had been opened up to a whole slew of movies and culture I wouldn’t have known if not for the random sighting of that trailer long ago. I never would have known what my tastes in film would have been (eclectic, but leaning towards unhinged), or even learn to appreciate what the world would otherwise call worthless (B Movies included). You have to give credit where credit is due, and dammit do I have to tip my hat toward Shinya Tsukamoto in regards to where I am today. In my head that is, not my financial muck up. That’s my fault, though at least I’ve been given some culture to keep me sane.


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