Reiwa Uprising

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International Film Festival Rotterdam 2020: The Gaze of the Old Filmmaker

Tyger Tyger burning bright, In the forests of the night: What immortal hand or eye,  Dare frame thy fearful symmetry? — William Blake As one of the centerpiece programs at the 49th edition of the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), “The Tyger Burns” was a canny display of un-hipness. What a joy it was to pay repeated witness to such a mammoth series of movies so gleefully, so wilfully out of touch. What better way to undercut the widespread love of emerging voices, new talents and young geniuses than to turn to aging, even senile artists who have either fallen […]

“Power and Organizational Pressure Win Over Logic”: Kazuo Hara on Reiwa Uprising at Rotterdam 2020

Kazuo Hara has always aligned himself with the political left, but it was nevertheless surprising to hear about his latest film, Reiwa Uprising, which depicts the ascent of Japan’s newest left-wing political party, Reiwa Shinsengumi, from grassroots agitators to seated parliamentarians during the 2019 election. It is not unusual for Hara, best known for Extreme Private Eros (1974) and The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On (1987), to take almost a decade or even longer between films, yet Reiwa Uprising follows Sennan Asbestos Disaster by just two years. That expedited time to completion was largely out of necessity: Reiwa Shinsengumi was […]