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Screening report 20.6.2009

I had a screening on Saturday at MediR (citizen media centre) in Takada-no-baba. The screening was organised by Video Act.

I arrived at the centre half an hour before the screening. Then I met Video Act members. I only contacted with the organiser via e-mail, so it was my first time to see Tsuchiya Tokachi san. He is also a director of the film; A Normal Life, Please).

The screening started at 4pm. There were 10 to 13 people at the screening.

After the screening, I did a post-screening talk with Tsuchiya-san.

"Why did you make the film?" - I think this is the most popular question for me so far. I was asked this time, too. Then I answered as usual, "I got my video camera for fun before studying abroad in the UK, the I learnt how to make films through uploading videos on YouTube. Normally, people don't seem to be impressed by this answer, but this time people were interested in the fact I'm the filmmaker from YouTube!

I think that YouTube (or other internet media) is popular than TV or film, so I am not surprised there are new filmmakers from YouTube. But when I saw their reaction, I changed my idea, probably there are not so many YouTube-based filmmakers in the professional field yet.

I learnt a lot from making YouTube videos. I repeated filming, editing, and uploading videos from Brian to my flatmates. Looking at the videos, then I realised I needed to film buildings or other different scenes when I go to film some events or something. I was thinking "I need to film the event from beginning to the end!", and I didn't think about the entrance scene or audiences. So, now I have to be careful to film everything related to the event. Another example, I used to chat a lot when I interview someone. But when I looked at the footage, I really hated I spoke to the interviewee and talking my opinions!!

Audiences asked me "How did you make relationship with Brian and other protesters?", "How about toilet?", "Did you interview withy pro-war people?", "How did Brian decide to start the 24/7 protest?", etc.

The post screening talk was finished around 6pm, then we had a mini-party in the same venue. Tsuchiya-san bought some beers and snacks. Video Act members, MediR people, and three audiences joined the drink.

People started talking more frankly than the post-screening talk. Since I made the film, I have a lot of opportunities to meet Japanese peace campaigner and independent filmmakers. When talking with them, I realise I don't have that background. This is good and bad. Some peace campaigner said my film looked unique, because most of anti-war films they had seen were dark and negative.

I started to be interested in peace campaign and making film through Brian. Before going to UK, I had never joined any peace activities in Japan, of course I was against wars though.

At the drinking party, some people started to talk about the Japanese flag I used in my film. I used the image when I talk about Japan and Japanese protesters. I used the flag with the image of mass people walking the Shibuya crossing. I intended to express Japanese society's oppression. But the Japanese flag is very controversial background.

The Japanese flag and the national anthem are considered a controversial symbol of the militaristic past of the country.

I edited my film in the UK. Because the history of Parliament Square is very long and complicated, and I had to understand all the dialogues in the footage, so I needed the help from Paul and other people. I was the only Japanese who watched the film before its made. When I was making the Japanese part and the flag, I was thinking about the shape of the red circle (it was a bit ellipse in the beginning, so modified it to the perfect circle), but not about the background history!!!!

I think of myself, I am the person who prefer not to reveal the story until it done. I don't want to show the procedure of the making. But I started to think it may be a good thing to show the un-completed film to different people who are familiar to the issue and get advise from them. I have seen my film well over 100 times, but lots of things I didn't realise until I showed to other people! I'm sure I would not realise even watching it over 1,000 times by myself!!!

Director Kamanaka Hitomi san has a style of making video letters and showing them before completeing her final films. I think it is a good idea. Because she can get people's comment and reaction, then continue her filming on the issue. I think there are not so many filmmakers who can have a long-term filming budget, but I definitely think I want to get a lot of advise during making a film in future!!

About Video Act (English page)

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YouTube全盛の世の中ですからこんな人はたくさんいるんじゃないかと思うのですが、それでもまだ映画作りに関わるプロの人たちの間では「YouTubeが出発点」という人は少ないのでしょうか? 私は自分が撮影→編集→YouTubeへの投稿を通じて、例えば「何かのイベントを撮りにいくとしたら、イベントだけじゃなくて会場の建物や他の映像も撮っておかなきゃいけないんだ」とか、「インタビューのときに、話を聞いている自分の相槌がうるさいなあ~。人の話は黙って撮影しなくちゃ」など気がついていったのです。






私はこの映画をイギリスで編集しました。というのも、ブライアンをめぐる状況というのは、法律のグレーゾーンを多く含んでいて、非常に複雑だからです。インタビュー内容、法律共にきちんと理解しないと映画が作れないため、半年の観光ビザでイギリスに再入国し、イギリス人に協力してもらいながら映画の編集作業をしました。なので、この映画は完成するまで日本人は私以外誰も観ませんでした。日の丸について、イギリス人から唯一あったコメントは「赤い部分がちょっと楕円じゃない? フォトショップで修正しないと」というグラフィック的なものだけです!!!!!!! これじゃあマズイ! そしてナレーションの録音もイギリス人に手伝ってもらいましたが、かろうじて「コンニチハ」が言える位の彼らにとって、私のナレーション原稿の長さや句読点、読み方のスピードなんて、判断のしようがありません。「日本語って歌みたいだね」って言われたぐらいです! そんなわけで、この映画の製作過程において、日本人の目、さらには日本で平和活動や映像製作に関わる人の意見は皆無だったのです。





今まで、自主映像制作者ならおそらく誰もが頭を抱えていた"普及・流通"の問題を解決するために立ち上げられたプロジェクトが、このビデオアクトです。自主制作映像作品が、"作るから拡げる"という段階に入った現在、ビデオアクトはもうひとつの映像ネットワークとして、様々な映像作品の普及・流通を一手に引き受けます。作った人から見たい人へスムーズに映像を手渡せるシステムを整えることによって、インディペンデント・メディアの状況もより活性化することでしょう。そして、「あそこに聞けば自主制作映像のことは何でもわかる! 」と言われるような自主映像制作者のコミュニティー・センター的な役割を果たせるようになれば、と思っています。(VIDEO ACT!ウェブサイトより抜粋)



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Screening report 6.6.2009

I left my flat on Friday night for the screening in Kyoto. I got on a highway bus from Shinjyuku, then I arrived in Kyoto station on the next morning.

On the bus, I felt very hot, so I couldn't get much sleep. I was very tired when I got off the bus. It was still very early in the morning. I had an appointement at noon to interview some people at Kyoto University, then screening would start at 6, so I wondered how I could kill my free time. There were no 24hour restaurants, so I walked around carring my heavy luggage.

I found a shrine, and laid on the stone bench. Then I slept for three hours!!! When I woke up, it was already 10, then I jumped out from the stone bench. I felt very good because of the sleep, but I thought it was not safe sleeping in the public space with all my belongings!!

I had a breakfast, then I headed to Kyoto University. I heard the weather forecast was cloudy/rainy, but the weather was very good and fairy hot. On the way to the university, I bought a bag of rice for the people I was going to see.

The symbolic clock tower and the camphor tree of Kyoto University.

Well, why did I come to the uni? Because I was going to interview 'Union Extasy' (cool name!!)' members. Union Extasy was formed in 2007 in order to against the university admin's regulation of "5 year rule".

The university made the rule for temporary workers, their annual contract would renew up to 5 years. Half of the university employees are "temporary" workers (over 2,600 people!!). But their job and responsibility are not "temporary" at all, they are just employed as "temporary" to reduce personnel cost.

University admin explains why they have 5 year rule, because if they renew the contract so many times, employees "expect" to be hired like full time workers, so they stop hiring person 5 years later whether the person is very able or not.

Union Extasy's blog (Japanese only)

Ex Kyoto University's temporary workers, Inoue-san and Ogawa-san are the main member of Union Extasy. They are against the 5 year rule and squatting the place under the uni's symbolic camphor tree until university admin agree with having meeting with Extasy Union. They also opened  "Kubi Kubi cafe" (lay-off cafe) under the tree!

The sign of Kubi Kubi cafe

Inoue-san recently vacated his flat and he brought all his household effects to the cafe and living here. He used to work in the uni's library, so he likes books. Most of his household effects are tons of books!! So, he started to sell his book collections when the weather is good.

The day I visited them, the weather was very hot, but under the camphor tree, I felt very cool and comfortable. They explained to me why I could feel good under the tree, because the camphor tree has essential oil in it and used to aromatic products. I see!!

Cafe's menu is several kinds of coffee (they roast here!), tea, cocoa, herb tea, etc. Customers pay the fee as donation. But price of the drink depends on customer's income (if his/her annual salary is 2,000,000 yen (10,000 pounds), the price of the coffee is 200 yen (1 pound). Inoue-san and Ogawa-san  are unemployed since April, so Union Extasy's activities are supported mainly by the danation from the cafe.

Roasting coffee beans!!

I heard 2,600 people are employed as temporary workers to Kyoto University. So, I thought it must be very powerful if all of them go on strike for a day. Kyoto University would go panic so easily because half of the employees go on strike. I asked Union Extasy about the idea. They said "We started the union and the strike without thinking carefully. Now I think we should have planned carefully before starting."

Most of the other temporary workers have sympathy with Extasy Union, but they worry about their contract renewal stopped by joining the union. So, they are not satisfied by the situation, but they can't do anything about it. Some temporary workers visited them at night and gave cold remedy, left very quickly...

I can understand both situations. But if we don't protest, our rights are neglected by the authorities. If someone stand up with courage, but he/she can't get support from people, the movement will not get bigger... What I can do about this? I don't know, but one thing I can do is letting people know problems and report their activities to get support... I'm still trying to do many different ways.

University admin still not having meeting with Union Extasy. Addition to that, they sued the union for squatting the university premise!! They even said "the tent is eyesore", "cause damage to the camphor tree".....!!!! It reminds me the infamous London GLA!!!!

Union Extasy has been squatting over three month now. If you have a chance to go to Kyoto, please visit their Kubi Kubi cafe. You will get very delicious coffee :-)

I realised the time was already 4 pm, so I headed to the screening venue, Hito-machi Koryu-kan.

Outside of Hito-machi Koryu-kan Kyoto.

Today's event board

The screening room was on the third floor. I met the today's organiser, Peace Movie-ment. It was my first time to see them face-to-face!

The screening room....too big!!

I was told that I had to post-screening talk by myself. It was kind of a lecture-style talk, but I had never tried. The talk was 30 minutes, the questions from audiences were 30 minutes.

I was a bit nervous about the lecture-style talk, because normally I had post-screening talks with someone who ask questions to me and lead the conversation. But if I have to talk by myself, I don't know about the peace movement in Kyoto, so I don't know what subjects attract audiences!

On the other hand, I was interested in having talk by myself, too. I found myself quite enthusiastic about making film and telling British peace movement to Japanese people. So, I thought I wanted to try. I don't believe there will be miracle without effort. So, I wrote down all topics I wanted to talk. It became 3 pages on A4 paper.

After the screening, I did my first lecture-style talk! I talked about how I met Brian, why I wanted to make a film, inside story of Brian & Co, freedom of speech in Britain, other British famous protest groups, etc. These topics I chose were the questions I was often asked from audiences.

When I started talking, I realised my way of talking changed along with the audiences' response. I was the only person who spoke, but I felt audience reaction and it decided me to talk more in details!! Especially, I felt Kyoto audiences were interested in protest, so I talked a lot about the topic.

When I talked half of my list, I looked at the clock and I found I had only 5 minutes! So, I couldn7t talk all of the topics I prepared. I have to  care about time procession.

In the Q & A session, I got a lot of questions, comments and advises from audiences. For example, "Does British media report war better than Japanese media?", "Are you going to film Brian in future, too? I hope so!", "Have your life changed after making this film?", "Does Brian have trouble with other people?", "You should appeal more about it is your first film, it will encourage others to make film, too!" etc.

Time was up, so the screening ended. After the screening, me and the staff members, and audiences went to the Japanese style restaurant/bar.

In the restaurant, I was happy to listen what other people do in their daily lives. One guy said, he graduated Kyoto university. He explained the rough and unrefined character of the uni, student dormitory (some dormitory was functioned like sanctuary; some exile people are living over decades, they are nothing to do with the uni!!). My university in Tokyo was not politically active, so I was very surprised to hear those stories!

The party finished around midnight, then I stayed at the hotel near Kyoto station.

On the next day, I had still enought time to look around Kyoto city because my highway bus was goint to depart at 10:30 pm. I went to Gion town where it is famous for Maiko (apprentice geisha).

It is like feeding frenzy!! What!!??

It reminded me of the chaos at London demonstration! They tried to take photos of Miko!

I could take a photo, too :-)

I went to Yasaka shrine.

I had a Kyoto-style lunch. Customers can choose their favourite mini dishes (Obanzai) from counter table. Kyoto is also famous for vegetable pickles. There are even pickles of asparagus, pumpkin, etc. They were all tasty!


After lunch, I was walking around the Gion town, then I found a very old temple. It was "Yasui-Konpira" shrine.

These wooden pieces are called "Ema". You can write down your wish on a wooden piece. For example, good health, love, money, longevity, passing the exam, and so on.

When I looked at some Ema, I was so surprised at their wishes!!!

It says; "I have been putting up with my wife for ten years, but it is enough. I want to divorce as soon as possible!"

I realised all of Emas here were like that! I didn't know the shrine was famous for "breaking off" until I got there. So people wish divorce, quite a job, smoking, relationship, some people even want to good-bye to their fat!!

The shrine also sell "breaking off" papers along with Ema. People can write down wishes on the piece of paper (it costs 2 pounds per paper!) then stick to the object. There were already too many papers, so I didn't know how the original object looked like. I thought "breaking off" business was free from this global financial crisis!!!

After sightseeing Gion, I got on the highway bus from Kyoto station, then came back to Tokyo.
I really enjoyed my first Kyoto screening :-)

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やっと、大学の前につきました♪ 京大名物の時計台と大きなクスの木です。↓

さて、なぜ私が京都大学までやってきたかというと、それは京都大学の「非常勤職員を5年で雇い止めにする」(つまり1年契約で更新は4回まで)という規定に対して反対する、ユニオン・エクスタシーを取材するためでした。以下、ユニオン・エクスタシーの配布チラシより、何が問題となっているのか簡単に説明します。(詳しくは、ユニオンエクスタシーのブログをご覧ください。 http://extasy07.exblog.jp/ )。


しかしながら、非常勤職員といいつつ、その職務内容は臨時的でも、補助的でもなく、常勤職員となんら変わらない専門的な仕事を任されている人も多いそうで、なんと、京都大学の全職員の半数に当たる2600名が非常勤職員として雇われているそうです! 常勤職員と同じ仕事をしながら、身分を「非常勤」とすることで、低賃金に抑えられている・・・。




アパートを引き払い、くすのき下のテントに全家財道具を運んできた井上さん。中でも一番の荷物は本! 一体何十箱あるのでしょうか?! カフェの前で、天気の良い日に売っています。京大生は”目利き”が多いそうで、良いものからどんどん売れていくそう。



テーブル席には大体6~8人ぐらい座れるでしょうか? 先日は映画の上映会も開催されたそうで、スクリーンは布団のシーツだったそうです!

自家焙煎中~ ^^

焙煎は30分近くかけて、ひたすら豆をかき回します。薄皮がはがれてくるので、それを吹き飛ばしながら。焙煎具合によって味が変わるので、その作業は真剣そのもの!! ちなみに焙煎方法をプロから伝授したそうで、味も本格的でした。


どちらの立場もよく分かります。でも、主張しなかったら、自分たちの権利は無視され続けます。声を上げる人に対して、もっと周囲から参加、サポートや協力が起こりやすくならない限り、勇気を持って立ち上がる人が、かえって吊るし上げに遭うという現状はなかなか変わらないでしょう。これまでブライアンの活動を通して直面した課題を、ここでも感じました。ではどうやって・・・?というと難しいですが、私がまず出来ることは、こういう活動をしている人を取り上げて、色んな人に知らせていくこと・・・。でも、もっと根本的に、どうやってこの状況を変えて行けば良いのだろう? しかも、日本社会でも可能なやり方は・・・? 私自身が、まだ模索中です。 


口座: 京都中央信用金庫 百万遍支店 0955268 ユニオンエクスタシー







今回の上映会に関しては、いつもより緊張していました。なぜなら、これまでの上映会は東京が中心で、お客さんの中には自分の友達や知り合いが常に少なくとも1人はいて、上映後のトークは、トーク慣れした進行役の方に導かれる形で、私が自由に話せばよかったのです。しかし、今回は、初めてお会いする方ばかりの中で、京都という地での平和活動がどんなものかも知らない私が、しかも、相手役もなく独りで話し続けるのです。「映画について話す」と一言で言っても、それをどのような切り口から、どう話すかは、観客層によっても、トークの進行役の方によっても変わります。でも、どんな人がいるのかもわからないのに、独りで話し続けることなんて出来るのか?? そう思っていました。



上映中! 一体どんな気持ちでお客さんは見てくれているのでしょうか・・・?

上映後、5分ほどの休憩を挟んで、いよいよ独りトークです! 原稿を手に着席し、挨拶をしたあと、話し始めました。話した内容は、ブライアンとの出会い、なぜ映画にしようと思ったか、撮影の裏話的なこと、イギリスの表現の自由、ブライアン以外のイギリスの有名な抗議活動・・・などなどです。話し始めてみて、確かに話しているのは私一人ですが、でも、なんでしょう、観客の方の表情やら、反応で、私自身の話している内容が変わっていくのです! それは、自分にとってちょっとした発見とも言えるべきものでした。反応から、平和活動についてかなり積極的に活動されている方が多いという印象を受け、その心意気が私にも伝わってきたので、イギリスのデモについて、日本・イギリス共に制限されていく表現の自由についてなど、重点的に話しました。


予定した原稿の半分を過ぎたところで時計を見たら、私の持ち時間が後5分しかありません! これはやばいと思い、後半はややはしょりました。私は時間を気にしながら話すという経験が普段ないので、ずら~っと並んだトピックを見て(この内容なら大体これ位で話せる)みたいな目安をつける技はないのです。お客さんが熱心に聴いてくれていたので、思わずこちらも一つ一つのトピックに時間をかけすぎてしまったかもしれません。この辺は、私にとって今後の課題です。





また、スタッフの方々は、「京都行動」という活動を毎週土曜日17時~18時半の間、三条河原町の商店街前でされているそうです。これは、沖縄の辺野古の新基地建設を止め、普天間基地の撤去を求めるための活動で、ビラまきや、署名活動などを行っています。(詳しくは京都行動のブログをご覧ください。 http://kyoto-action.jugem.jp )。団体でも、組織でもなんでもなく、個人の集まりとして活動を何年も続けているのだとか!すごい!! 不定期で沖縄からのゲストを呼んだ講演会や上映会などを行っているそうなので、ぜひチェックしてみてください。

ところで、今回の上映会はピースムービーメントの方が、偶然どこかのメーリングリストで私の映画を知り連絡をくださったのですが、初めてお会いして色々お話して、共通の知り合いが何人もいることにびっくりしました! 私はユニオン・エクスタシーの活動をなぜ知ったかというと、それは沖縄・高江で座り込みをされている方と連絡をする機会があり、その方が送ってくださった資料の中に「くびくび通信」が入っていたからなのです。そして、その高江の方は、先週ちょうど京都に来られたそうで、ユニオン・エクスタシーに行き、さらに、ピースムービーメントさんたちと交流会をされたそうなのです! これにはびっくり!!


12時近くになって、打ち上げがお開きとなり、お店の外に出ました。すると、店の外の小川で、ホタルが光っているではありませんか! しかも大量に!! ホタルはキレイな水にしか生息しない、静かなところにしか棲まないと聞いた事があるのですが、こんな京都のど真ん中に、なぜホタルがいるのですか??!! 東京は、私の実家のほうなんて、かなり田舎にも関わらず、ホタルを見ることは出来ません。不思議です!




押すな押すなの大混雑で、その様子は混乱したロンドンのデモのようです! 彼等は舞妓さんの写真を撮ろうとしているのです。いやいや、それにしても危ない・・・!








「十年間辛抱したが、もうガマンも限界。悪妻と一日も早く離婚できますように」とか、そんな内容のオンパレードなのです! それもそのはず、着いてみて知ったのですが、ここは悪縁を切り、良縁を結ぶことで知られる金毘羅さんなのだそうです。それにしても、恋愛から、会社、禁煙祈願・・・ありとあらゆる「やめたい」、「切れたい」祈願がそこに集結・・・。


一体何人がここで絵馬や短冊を買うのでしょうか? 「悪縁切り」ビジネスは不況とは無縁のようです!!!





(浦辻 宏昌さん、ドキュメンタリーフィルムライブラリー)







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