Oscars for Japan

1 Mar

At last week’s Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, USA, two Japanese movies won “Oscar” awards.

「おくりびと」 (“Departures“) won the Best Foreign Language Film award.

「おくりびと」 movie flyer

「おくりびと」 movie flyer

「おくりびと」 (“Departures“) is the story of a musician who loses his job when the orchestra closes and reluctantly takes a job as a mortician.

Director Yojiro Takita accepted the Oscar with a short speech in English:

“I am here because of films. This is a new ‘departure’ for me. And I will, we will, be back. I hope.”

In addition to the Oscar award from Hollywood, the film also won the “Best Film” award at Japan’s Academy Awards ceremony this year, as well as an award at the Montreal Film Festival in Canada.

The other Japanese film to win an Oscar last week was 「つみきの家」 (“The House Of Blocks“).

「つきみの家」

「つきみの家」

This is a twelve-minute hand-drawn animation about an old man who fights to save his home from the rising sea caused by global-warming.

The film won an Oscar for “Best Animated Short Film“.

Director Kunio Kato, who works for “Robot Communications“, accepted his award by saying:

“…Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto!”

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10 Responses to “Oscars for Japan”

  1. Sir Pent March 1, 2009 at 6:20 am #

    Speaking of “Mr. Roboto”…but not really…the Lizards From Afar song Giant Robot was given a spot on independent music online radio station
    RadioIndie.com.

    http://www.radioindie.com/node/1251

    So please head over and click the “Ready For Radio” button.

    (Sorry to hijack your blog…)

    • tokyo5 March 1, 2009 at 1:31 pm #

      Sir Pent…

      Speaking of radio, does anyone in America listen to regular radio anymore? Or only online radio?

  2. kyokoumei March 1, 2009 at 2:25 pm #

    is there any place online where i can stream “Departure?”

    • tokyo5 March 1, 2009 at 3:20 pm #

      I’m sure there is. But I don’t put links to shady sites on my blog.

      Anyways, at risk of sounding preachy…rather than watching it that way…I believe anyone who wants to watch a movie should buy a ticket and see it in a theater so the people who made the movie can get paid for their work.
      Besides, I think going to a movie theater is fun (maybe I’m just old-fashioned).

  3. Sir Pent March 1, 2009 at 11:11 pm #

    I know that radio listenership in the states is down. I’ve even heard that satellite radio subscriptions have been on the downslide.

    • tokyo5 March 2, 2009 at 12:11 am #

      The radio isn’t as popular here as it used to be either…but I think it’s become less popular there.

      I also heard that American newspapers have been losing readers…newspapers are still popular in Japan, though.

  4. Sir Pent March 2, 2009 at 4:05 am #

    Newspapers are going under like crazy…but they are one of those industries that did it to themselves. They built huge infrastructures and fought the “internet revolution” for far too long. Almost the same as the music industry.

    • tokyo5 March 2, 2009 at 9:08 am #

      In Japan, a large percentage of web-surfing is done on cell-phones.
      And newspapers and CDs still sell well here.

  5. Barrett J April 2, 2009 at 10:10 am #

    My other favorite Japanese film this year was Tokyo. But then again I’ve never seen a Michel Gondry film that I didn’t like.

    • tokyo5 April 2, 2009 at 11:35 am #

      >My other favorite Japanese film…

      Actually the movie “Tokyo!” is a French movie with three directors (two are French, and the other is Korean).

      I haven’t seen the movie…but I heard that the only thing Japanese about it is the title and filming location.

      It doesn’t look like a movie that I’d like, personally (but I didn’t like that other movie that was filmed in Tokyo either…Lost In Translation. It was dull, in my opinion.)

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