Monday, September 22, 2008

Space Elevator Japan: I learned about this via Melt-Banana's Myspace blog...

It's captured Melt-Banana's interest and now mine, as well. The space elevator. Imagine this: a long tower rising from some earthly location, becoming threadlike in the distance, eventually disappearing into the sky. At the bottom, a car anyone can ride. Up go satellites, cargo containers, people into space, more reliably and cheaply than with rockets. An elevator into outer space, in your lifetime. It sounds like pure science fiction, but it's science possiblity.

The Japan Space Elevator Association aims to make this science fact.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

"Go! Shinjuku:" a movie!

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This is movie number three of my series about Tokyo, one of the most vibrant, happening cities on earth. The basic theme is how much I love Tokyo. I'm not sure I could stand to live there with a job, but if I had my wish I'd keep an apartment there, one in New York, one in Italy somewhere, another on some tropical coast and just rotate all year long, two or three months at a time.

This movie takes you on a walking tour from a hotel in the heart of Kabuki-cho, Tokyo's notorious "red light district" and my Japanese home-away-from-home-away-from-home, to the south side of Shinjuku station as the sun goes down and the lights come on. A few neat things happened in the editing process, but my favorite has to be the way the waiting crowds suddenly explode into movement at the intersection outside Shinjuku station. Also the repeated images of people running. Just a thing that day, I suppose.

Kabuki-cho is sort of Tokyo's underworld and it embodies the contrasts of living in Japan. Futuristic one moment, poignant the next. Upbeat people shopping and dining and moving energetically, seemingly oblivious to the Dickensian presence of homeless people sleeping on hard concrete nearby.

PS- Enjoy the somewhat improved video quality of the new hosting site I'm trying out. Not too bad!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Comics Can Be Educational Finds International Manga Summit

Kyoto, home of the Kyoto International Manga Museum, recently hosted the 9th annual International Manga Summit. According to a story in the Japan Times, the manga summit concluded that comics can be used to educate people on a wide variety of topics, from the environment to food safety. It also noted that Finnish cartoonists are increasingly influenced by their Japanese counterparts.

Interesting developments, to be sure. But I declare comic books to be fun and entertaining also. Especially Nana. That is some good stuff!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

"Go! Harajuku:" a movie!

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This is my newest short film/video, the latest of my audio-visual love letters to my favorite city on earth and some truly cool women. It was shot in Harajuku in August, 2008. Improving but still not particularly competent at moviemaking. Watch the JR staffer on the train platform at the end and you'll see something accidental that actually turns out a little magical. Things like that really help in the editing process.