Sunday, May 4, 2008

"Yasukuni" Opens Under Heavy Security...

So the film finally opened to the general public in Tokyo with police officers inside and outside the theater. Read the whole story at Japan Today.

Link to "Yasukuni" opens...

The film will be shown in Osaka from Saturday, May 10 at the Dai Nana Geijutsu Gekijyo in Juso (tel: 06-6302-2073).

UPDATE (Yes, yet another one...) 5/5/08

Two Yasukuni-related stories appeared in today's Daily Yomiuri. The first is similar to the stories that ran yesterday.

Link to Public Interest in "Yasukuni" High

The second story I will cut and paste here in its entirety as it relates to our on-going discussion of photographing in public and getting people's permission to do so. Let's see how this develops...

Shrine wants 'uncleared' scenes cut; director says no

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 5, 2008)

Yasukuni Shrine has asked the maker of the documentary "Yasukuni" to cut scenes from the film that they say contain "unauthorized" footage, but the filmmaker is not planning to comply with the request.

In a letter dated April 11, the shrine asked director Li Ying to cut the scene of a ritual at the shrine, saying he was not permitted to film it.

The shrine also asked him to cut scenes showing close-ups of shrine personnel and visitors for which it said the filmmaker had not obtained permission from these people to shoot their images.

According to the shrine, the documentary's production company, Dragon Films, made three requests for permission to shoot footage of the shrine, but on none of these occasions did it specify that the footage was intended for a documentary to be called "Yasukuni."

Kazuo Hizumi, lawyer for Li and Dragon Films, said: "When you see news and other footage of the shrine, it's hard to believe that every single person seen in it has been asked for permission. It's a place that attracts many people and a lot of attention, and I believe members of the public seen there are usually taking images of it, too."

How specific does one have to be when getting permission to shoot a documentary? In early phases of research and shooting, I believe it is quite rare to know the title of one's film and what form the final edited cut will take. On the other hand, can the subject request that parts be deleted after the final cut if they change their minds? For visual anthropologists this is a legal and an ethical question.


Yes, I know it's been a while since I promised to post a set of guidelines for students of visual anthropology to consider when photographing in public. I have not forgot. I have a stack of related books and articles that I have been reading and taking note of on my desk. Unfortunately I also have stacks of papers to grade and lectures to prepare on my desk as well... Someday all will get done...

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