Monday, January 5, 2009

"Tokyo Reality"

Tokyo Reality (Canon 5D MarkII) from utsuru on Vimeo.

My colleague, E.K., brought this video to my attention. It is billed as "The world's first non official short movie shot with the Canon EOS 5D MarkII." We get the following information in the film and at the websites:

1 cameraman with Canon 5D MarkII - 3 days in Tokyo
1 video editor with MacBook Pro - 2 days in France

More informations on: (english & french)

David Michaud, Photograph/Cameraman freelance since 2002 in Tokyo/Yokohama Japan

Florent Porta, Freelance Video Editor in France

I can't read French (those that can, please feel free to help me out with comments), but it seems that the whole point of the film is to display the tool that made it. VAOJ usually doesn't delve into the gear so much, but for more information on the camera used, check out the site below.

Information and review of this camera at Digital Photography Review:

What VAOJ usually does dig into is the way Japanese culture is represented in film and video. How do you think "Tokyo Reality" does in this regard? Technically the film is shot and edited well. The contents are on the mundane side, which is a nice change from the heavy "weird Japan" focus that many filmmakers tend to present as of late. But I wonder if it is too mundane. Is there too much focus on the train/subway? Surely Tokyo is more than that. The music is nice, but it seems to be on the mellow and almost sad side and certainly effects the visual images. So again, the question remains, what does the film tell us about the reality of Tokyo? And whose reality is it? Who is the man that the film focuses on from time to time? Personally I would like more background information on this film. Does this film want to make you seek such backgorund information? This would be one indicater of the film's success. The film has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times according to the websites, so they are doing something right. So what am I missing? Should I focus on the camera/tool and not pay so much attention to the contents? Is "Tokyo Reality" a music video (commercial) for Canon?


Anonymous said...

I'd guess it's the equipment, though I've been drooling after the new 5D since it was announced so I might be just a little biased. As far as I know, there haven't been all that many demonstrations of its video mode yet, apart from Vincent Laforet's of course. It sure looks pretty, but I guess I'll just have to wait until video mode makes its way to the entry level models.

Anyway, no ethics of photography spin this time? I thought this one was begging for it, really.

rikishi said...

about the only positive thing that one can say about that film is that it does show off the capabilities of the camera fairly well....other than that, it presents the "reality" most tourists wish to capture when they come here, and has been edited according to the script of preconceived notions they check-in with.

I actually think this video is all about "weird" japan, the imagery calculated (unimaginatively so, hence the over-reliance on trains and the commute) to present an other japan of drones marching lock step to the beat of the group code, essentially faceless behind their allergy masks and shinbun.

The whole thing is laughable really -- particularly the introduction of this protagonist, alienated from it all, alone with his thoughts by the train window while the masses huddle in a somnolent state. Just in case we don't "get it", we finish with this L’Étranger pushed out to the fringes (Odaiba, not very fringe at all really), forced to view his contrived Tokyo from afar, his thoughts racking back and forth between a faux Tour Eiffel in the distance and Lady Liberty in the foreground, who in her twice removed from home existence mocks the supposed lack of freedom in this "Tokyo reality", which is anything but.