DOC NYC ’11: Views on Japan (shorts)
(trailer here), which screens as part of the Views on Japan short film program at DOC NYC 2011.
Blossom opens with first-hand video footage that will make viewers forever foreswear Roland Emmerich disaster movies. From the relative safety of higher ground, residents watch as the tsunami slowly obliterates their town and all their neighbors left behind. Their audible anguish is truly haunting.
For many survivors, the coming of the annual cherry blossom season signifies the process of rebirth, reminding them that life goes on. Observing the natural beauty of the sakura is an important tradition in Japan. Davina Pardo’s Minka (trailer here) also celebrates the distinctive grace of the Japanese culture and landscape. Minka refers to the Japanese farmhouses, whose rustic elegance is indeed peculiarly Japanese.
If you imagine the greatest Frank Lloyd Wright Prairie style home ever, you will have a sense of the vintage Minka American A.P. correspondent John Roderick and his future adopted son Yoshihiro Takishita rescued from demolition, literally rebuilding it piece by piece once they found a suitable site. It became the first real home for both men, eventually inspiring Takishita to make a career out of rebuilding similar farm houses.
Lovingly photographed by Pardo, their Minka looks intimately comfortable, yet its high ceilings and flowing space are quite striking. In fact, it is also a highly personal space, maintaining a connection between Takishita and the late Roderick.
Oscar shortlist for best documentary short subject, while Minka is an official nominee for best short at the 2011 IDA Documentary Awards. Both films are the class of their respective fields, highly recommended when they screen together this coming Monday (11/7) as the Views from Japan double bill at this year’s DOC NYC. Concerned individuals can also still support the Japan Society’s earthquake relief fund by going here.