Sunday, August 31, 2008

9/5/08: Pecha Kucha Presentation at Royal/T in Los Angeles

Hi Blog,

Yeesh, this blog is turning into my personal secretary minus the fingers and phone calling skills but as the title of this blog says, I'll be presenting at the next Pecha Kucha night here in Los Angeles. That'd be on this coming Friday, September the 5th at 20:20 O'Clock.

What is Pecha Kucha? Let's reprint what their site sez:

What is Pecha Kucha Night?

Pecha Kucha Night, devised by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham (Klein Dytham architecture), was conceived in 2003 as a place for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public.

But as we all know, give a mike to a designer (especially an architect) and you’ll be trapped for hours. The key to Pecha Kucha Night is its patented system for avoiding this fate. Each presenter is allowed 20 images, each shown for 20 seconds each – giving 6 minutes 40 seconds of fame before the next presenter is up. This keeps presentations concise, the interest level up, and gives more people the chance to show.

Pecha Kucha (which is Japanese for the sound of conversation) has tapped into a demand for a forum in which creative work can be easily and informally shown, without having to rent a gallery or chat up a magazine editor. This is a† demand that seems to be global – as Pecha Kucha Night, without any pushing, has spread virally to over 100 cities across the world. Find a location and join the conversation.

Whelp, I didn't know jack about this whole Pecha Kucha thing until I was asked to participate (or it was firmly suggested that I should) and still have been kind of flying by the seat of my pants on this one but in a last minute desparation as to what the hell I should blab about I've decided to focus on something Japanese film related. (Surprise!) And something from the 60s and 70s! (Double Surprise!!)

Actually there will be some other stuff from more contemporary corridors here, but it seems like a fun thing to do and even though I've just submitted my 20 slides to the curators, I still don't know how or what or どうやって I will put this together. Should be fun though.

At any rate, if you do make it out to the event, please bring soft and spongey foodstuffs to through as they don't hurt as much when you get pelted by them. Thanks and see you there!

8910 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
T 310 559 6300
F 310 559 6633

Friday, August 29, 2008

A Snack to Tide You Over

Hi Blog,

Busy, busy, busy here! Time for a snack!

Only, Jyagariko (aka. じゃがりこ) is like my most-favoritist snack ever and I can't buy it in the US! But then I find out that Calbee, the manufacturers of this awesome snack, has built a factory in the US. So I decide to write them and find out directly.

Here's what I wrote:

Calbee's Jyagariko is pretty much my favorite snack food. Whenever I'm in Japan I buy it or when my in-laws come and visit from Japan I ask them to bring some. Furthermore, every American that I've shared it with thinks it's amazing-- not a single person dislikes it!

So here's a question: why can't I find it in the US? I found it very rarely when I lived in NYC at JAS Mart. But now I live in Los Angeles, so why doesn't Nijiya or Marukai stock it?


You know what I love about Japanese manufacturers? They actually respond to these type of queries. And fast too!

Here's what they told me:

We often receive inquiries regarding where to buy Calbee products that are produced in Japan. Unfortunately, Calbee America does not import products from Japan and cannot locate where to buy those products.

Please feel free to look at our website,, for more information about Calbee America Products, which are produced in Fairfield, CA.

Thank you,

Jillian Ayala
Calbee America, Inc.
2600 Maxwell Way
Fairfield, Ca 94534
Well that was useless.

Anyway, if any of you kind souls can advise me as to where I can buy this bitchin' snack in the US (or on-line) I'd appreciate it. In the meantime, I'm waiting my next shipment from Japan, which should be here in about three weeks from now...

Update! No sooner do I make this snippy post, then I was at the Japanese market yesterday and found two types of Jyagariko (Salad flavor = excellent and Cheese flavor = Okay)! Yay!! Question: Was it my prodding or just dumb coincidence?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

New DVD Liner Notes! Yume Ju Ya - Ten Nights of Dreams

Hi Blog,

I guess I must've done something right on my TOKYO DECADENCE DVD liner notes because I was asked by Cinema Epoch to do a set of notes for their upcoming YUME JU YA DVD release (aka. TEN NIGHTS OF DREAMS). This is a 10 director/short film omnibus based on Japanese cultural icon Soseki Natsume's collection of short stories (of the same name).

Additionally, if you live in La-La-Land and are curious to check it out, I'll be introducing the film on opening night, next Friday August 22nd (don't know what time-- will have to post about it later), at the Imaginasian Theater here in Los Angeles. I'm still working on it as we speak, but the talk will likely focus on Soseki with some discussion about the directors chosen to participate. Incidentally, I must say that my old pal Yamashita Nobuhiro's entry (Night Eight) is pretty fantastic.

Oh! And rumor has it that someone important from Nikkatsu will be attending. Info here.

Info about Cinema Epoch's DVD release can be found here. (And hey! Cash burning a hole in your wallet? Pre-order it at Amazon here!)