Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I hadn't seen a single one of them.

I normally do not watch television much. It is not that I do not care for good programs. I simply do not have the time.
There was a testimony of this fact the other day. Later last year, I was a judge of a commercials competition. The short-listed commercial videos were shown one by one.

Mr. Kundo Koyama, who wrote the script for the film Departures, was one of the judges. After seeing the commercials, Mr. Koyama remarked that he realized how influential these T.V. commercials are, as he knew nearly half of them although he seldom watches the television, as little as 10 to 15 minutes a day.

I sat there, in the middle of the committee, with my jaws open. I hadn't seen a single one of them. If commercials are one of the important media through which the zeitgeist is nurtured and propagated, then I do not breathe that air.

I remember the golden days when as I kid I used to watch my favorite anime programs, and share the latest information once in school with my mates. Now the world is fragmented, and it is difficult to share a common mood. Maybe it is the fault of people like me.


Anonymous said...

"Departures" has become one of my best movies to date. The two great things about this movie are that (i) it made me burst into tears in multiple occasions which I rarely experience through watching movies these days and that (ii) it was a great non-anime movie made in Japan about Japan. If only the movie had become more of a memorable blockbuster hit at the degree of the children's anime movies which seem to be far more successful here. I believe our craving for "distant things" also shows in our degree of love for movies. While the multi-channel, on-demand TV has become an entertainment device to suit diversified and fragmented needs for people with other important things to do and thus no longer able to create a setting for everyone to sit in one place and share common values and experiences, movie theaters continue to be a unique environment where people are virtually forced to sit in one place and share a common "distant" experience all in one group. In this regard I believe Hollywood continues to represent the "pragmatic" energy of the US (as with the country's success in the Olympics) and only wish there were more of a common understanding and appreciation among our people towards the significance of sharing such cinematic experiences, or shared experiences of "distant things". I wonder what % of the population would be motivated to take the time to actually go see the Japanese movies which have won the awards at the recent Berlin festival, as I doubt the % to be at an overwhelming level.

Takuro said...

Dear Dr.Mogi-sensei,

I can share the topic on you with my friends by referring to "The Professionals" program of NHK.

I find good programs still function to enhance our solidarity in Japan.

砂山鉄夫(Tetsu Sunayama) said...

When we read this journal, we can go back to the golden days. Yes, it's brilliant every day...