Sunday, 19 December 2010

Just watched: Live Tape

The second film I watched from the Zipangu Fest was by the same director as Annyong Yumiko, Tetsuaki Matsue. I think I'm starting to get the hang of his work. He makes very personal films that, on paper, no one else would be interested in, and then he releases them to the world. I admire that.

In this film, we follow the singer songwriter Maeno Kenta as he walks around some Japanese streets, busking. That's it. The film is one shot, so there's a real sense of being there, and it also has a sense of intimacy as he walks down side streets and alleyways. Occasionally, the director speaks to him and he stops playing for a brief interview towards the end but, other than that, it's one man and his guitar.

The music is good, but at first it's the reactions of the people around Kenta that interested me. They’re unsure of how to react to the crew, with some shyly ducking out of shot, while others boldly walk through. Either way, Kenta continues to play, oblivious. At certain points, he is joined in a duet by another musician waiting for him on the street, and the film ends as he arrives at a park where his band is ready to play.

It's certainly original and fascinating. Almost hypnotic. I was quite sad when it ended – at one and a quarter hours, it’s shorter than most films – but I'm definitely glad I saw it.

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