Yamamura’s “Muybridge’s Strings”

Koji Yamamura

National Film Board (Canada) Producer Michael Fukushima on upcoming Koji Yamamura masterclass at the Toronto Mediatheque
November 8th, 2010
(from an online article by Tanya Koivusalo)
NFB.ca blog

The NFB Mediatheque is thrilled to host a Masterclass and screening on November 13th to celebrate the work of Oscar®-nominated animator Koji Yamamura. He is the most successful auteur animation filmmaker in Japan today, and his work is internationally renowned.
This special programme, co-curated by Michael Fukushima and Marco de Blois and presented with Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, Montreal’s Cinémathèque québécoise, the Japan Foundation, and the National Film Board of Canada, represents a small slice of Yamamura’s creative output but offers a sense of his unique talent. From his first commissioned works in the early 90s, to his breakout success Atamayama/Mt. Head, through his experimentation and explorations with The Old Crocodile and Franz Kafka’s A Country Doctor, this is a must-see programme for anyone craving another look at their Yamamura favourites, and new audiences interested in one of the most influential auteur animators of his generation. Yamamura himself will be in attendance for the Masterclass. I spoke with NFB producer and co-curator Michael Fukushima to find out more about this special one-time event…….
TK: What are you working on with him now?
MF: Koji and I have been working on a 12-minute short called Muybridge’s Strings for a few years. It’s a co-production between the NFB, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK), and Polygon Pictures from Tokyo. At a first level, it’s a film about Eadweard Muybridge, one of the pioneers of motion pictures, but centering on a pivotal moment of violence in Muybridge’s life. But really, Muybridge and his obsession with capturing and stopping time is a mechanism for Koji to tell a story about parents and children, about love, and about the inexorable and unstoppable passing of time through our fingers.


In 2005, Yamamura created an ‘Animation Museum’ display:

Duration March 25 through September 25, 2005 185days
’Interactive Fun Zone’ in AICHI EXPO Nagakute Area

In viewing the cave paintings of primitive times, you get a sense of the energetic movement of the horses, cows, and deer. Many legs are drawn on one body, perhaps to express its running, which is recognized as the roots of animation. Through the paintings, you will feel the bliss of primitive men finding “a joy in capturing moving images”, and “a wonder of replaying the moving images” dramatized by the flickering torchlight.
“Yamamura Animation Museum” starts from that cave art, and it is full of the joy and wonder of creating animation. The museum contains an exhibition of world animation history replicated by Koji Yamamura using full of his imagination, and numerous animation drawings, models, and artworks on display that show his history as a creator of animation, and there is also a corner in which to experience moving images with various types of equipment.
Now, please enjoy the exhibition, enjoy the moving pictures, and let your curiosity and imagination discover the joy of Yamamura Animation.

Posted here by Stephen Herbert

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