News and Opinion

Repetition and Rupture in the Films of Kawase Naomi


I hope everyone has been enjoying the new year of 2019. As some of you have noticed, I have tried to use the holiday break to update Tangemania, for instance by starting a new page on my Journal Articles (I’m not sure why I didn’t do that before), as well as adding more links on the site to my articles available on the Yale repository.

In the midst of doing that, I realized that I had some time ago uploaded my article on the film director and documentarist Kawase Naomi to the repository without announcing it here. Kawase-san and I go back a ways. I was one of the first to program her works at an international film festival (the New Asian Currents program of the 1995 Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival), and also interviewed her in 2000 for the YIDFF periodical, Documentary Box (see the interview here). We were close enough that my wife and I had her over for dinner at our house, and when the Infinity Film Festival in Italy did one of the first retrospectives of her work in Europe in 2002, I was invited as the outside expert, and did a day-long workshop with her. I sadly have not had much contact with her in the last decade, and some people I know grumble that as she has grown famous she has distanced herself from the people who helped her get started, but I still eagerly await her new films, even as I remain occasionally critical of them (like with Kitano, I tend to be a fan of the early work). 

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