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Never Ending Summer

Director, Script, Editing, Music: Hara Masato, Kaneko Tomokazu,
Onuma Ryoko Photography: Hara Masato, Kaneko Tomokazu,
Onuma Ryoko, Kaneko Kazuo and others
Producer: Inoue Takao
Production Company, Source: Uraku
Contact: Aoki Office
6-21-1-904 Nishi-shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0023 JAPAN
Phone & Fax: 81-3-5323-4093
JAPAN / 1997 / Live Performance in Japanese / Color / 8mm,
16mm, Video / about 180 min

Hara Masato

Born in 1950, as a high school student he produced the 16mm film A Sad Yet Funny Ballad which captured the Tokyo Film Art Festival's Grand Prix, as well as the ATG Prize. He scripted Oshima Nagisa's film The Man Who Left His Will on Film in 1970, and in 1973, after three years of work he completed The First Emperor which received acclaim from its young audience. In the late 1970s he began writing and directing videos, educational works and PR films, and beginning in the 1980s, added a focus on documentaries for television. Hara's works sometimes use mixed media, especially animation and laserdisc images; and he often combines his screenings with live performances.

Kaneko Tomokazu

Born in 1979, currently living in Otsu, in Shiga prefecture. In his fourth year of primary school, he stopped going to school and began home schooling. Having made the acquaintance of various people during his free schooling, he is now in the middle of finding his own way.

Onuma Ryoko

Born in 1973, she completed a course of training at the Kyoto Junior Arts College in dyeing and weaving techniques. From 1995 she began working on Hara's live performances, and in 1997 had a one-person show of her works at Kyoto's Gallery Maronie. Following this, her attention has been focused on image-based works, with film being her mainstay. She lives in Kyoto.


Director's Statement

In the first century of cinema, Ozu Yasujiro has left us many masterpieces of domestic dramas including Tokyo Story ("Tokyo Monogatari") and The End of Summer ("Kohayagawa ke no aki"). I contrasted his portrayals of families with the "Road Movie Family," tied not by blood kinship, but by cinema, with each member of it pointing his or her camera at each other.

With two people I met on the live screening tour of my previous film The Eternal Traveler ("Hyakudai no kakaku"), Kaneko Tomokazu (17) and Onuma Ryoko (23), posing as my son and my daughter, the "Road Movie Family" went on voyage in the summer of 1996, taking five cameras with them. This journey became the core of our film, with each of us editing his or her own part, adding his or her own voice-over, trying to achieve an "I-movie" with several "I" s. The three of us have been continuing to film after that, so each "I-movie" is still in course of multiplying. So what will become of the "Road Movie Family" in the summer of 1997?

This film, divided into several chapters, is a compilation of "I-movies" of the three filmmakers, but it also includes chapters with the three first-person voices in dialogue. This is what I have left undone in my previous film: The Eternal Traveler, which I shot with my own son, had dialogues in the shooting process, but not in the editing which I did just by myself. This I have regretted. So this becomes a co-directed film by Hara Masato, Kaneko Tomokazu and Onuma Ryoko. It is also a film to be performed live.

The film is shot on 16mm, 8mm, and on video, and will be projected on a single, double, and sometime triple multi-screen using three projectors for the three different formats. The music and the voice-overs are to be performed live. Sometimes the three directors perform individually alongside the part they directed, and sometimes they perform in the same chapter, taking turns, like three soloists, and mixing their voices together--an experiment in low-tech multimedia in which spaces filled with an improvisational atmosphere multiply themselves.

The film to be presented in Yamagata is a largely-revised edition of a version performed in 1996 as a special live screening.
--Hara Masato


Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Organizing Committee