Thursday, October 9, 2014

Digital Amnesia (2014)

 (You can watch the full movie.)

Did you have an account at GeoCities? I am quite sure at least you have visited more than dozens of those sites, - personal blogs or hobby exhibition, or maybe just a few pages of family photos - and probably went on to something else, without even noticing the site was hosted at GeoCities, one of the largest hosting service at the time. In 1999, Yahoo! purchased this thriving service at staggering $3.57 billion, but it turned out to be not as lucrative a business as it had hope to be. Exactly 10 years after, Yahoo! announced its closure rather suddenly. Some of the users went panic, some lamented, most just decided to let it go, and there were those who didn't even notice their sites were deleted. But people at Internet Archive, Archive Team and others took it differently. They thought this was a part of our culture. If it were deleted, it would never be remembered. No one will recall how these GeoCities sites looked like back in 1999. So several teams of Internet archivists attempted to download the whole sites. The whole GeoCities. Now, you can browse the Internet life in 2000's at Archive Team or or Wayback Machine.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Chi Wa Kawaiteru (1960)

In the dystopian world of Sidney Lumet's Network (1976), the death of the once-popular TV personality in front of camera is considered to be the best way to preserve corporate integrity in the face of fierce competition. The price of 'virtual' persona sometimes exceeds the price of person's physical life itself. The idea of a life insurance company exploiting a sensational image of death for marketing their products sounds very promising, but Yoshishige Yoshida's Chi Wa Kawaiteru (血は渇いてる, 1960) abandons the credibility and nuances in exchange for visual impact.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Hakone-Yama (1963)

"Oh, you mean, the next trend will be to live in the slower pace, in this age of hectic pace."
- Kouemon (Shuji Sano)

This film is about nothing but a hectic pace of modern life. Crisply photographed, edited and directed, Yuzo Kawashima's Hakone-Yama (1963) drives you through the world of highly-charged competition among corporations. It is fast, loud, vulgar, and mean. It is loosely based on the actual event at the time. It is timely, sensational and dirty. Most of all, it is energetic.