Thursday, August 21, 2008

"Tokyo through the Eyes of Shibuya Shantytown Residents"

(Please excuse the advertisements attached to the film...)

Filmmaker Bob Jaroc recently made this short film dealing with homeless people in Japan. Part of his rationale for the film:

My intentions for the piece were to stay clear of making a patronizing "cry/be angry for the homeless people" thing or a romanticized view of that life. I wanted to distill the experiences of the people who took the time to talk to me and question myself why I ended up going there in search of something to film.

Read more at Boing

Link to "Tokyo through the eyes of Shibuya shantytown residents" on Boing Boing TV

How do you feel about the film? Does it really tell us anything about homeless people in Japan? Is this film visual anthropology? Is it art? If it is art, is it appropriate to use the homeless people in this way? Are food, cigarettes and alcohol adequate compensation? How would you go about making a film on this subject?

1 comment:

DickMcVengeance said...

It was interesting to watch, that's for sure. But was it worthwhile as a piece of information? Not so much.

It's unfortunate that half the film was taken up by multiple lines of Super-8 tape running side by side, because that time could have been better spent. The director was clearly more interested in shooting something artistic than trying to make a point, as the Super-8 segment shows.

Once he was actually interviewing the man, I was really captivated by it. I wanted to hear this man's story of how he fell, and why he can't fight to get out of his current state (I know the likely answers, but I want to hear it in his own words). It was really a wasted opportunity, with the director opting to go a more sparse and abstract route instead of showing us more detailed information.