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Syndicate: Exploding Cinema TECH.POP.JAPAN, Rotterdam 26.1.-6.2.2000

Date: Thu, 16 Dec 1999 17:24:53 +0100
From: femke wolting <>

Press release
November 29, 1999

Exploding Cinema, section of the International Film Festival Rotterdam,
29th edition, January 26 - February 6, 2000

For the year 2000, the International Film Festival Rotterdam expects to
build upon the more than 300,000 admissions of 1999 and once again will
offer a diverse and adventurous programme with more than 200 films and
digital features plus many shorts and, in addition in its prize winning
Exploding Cinema section, an 'explosion' of new directions for the moving

As part of the Japan programme of the festival, Exploding Cinema will
concentrate on the crossovers between animation, online, art, design,
videogames and the moving image. As Tokyo is steeped in mass culture,
created and consumed by the masses, media evolves with the increase of
information and the wider distribution of information. Visual media and
visual information develop, they all diffuse a quantity of mass media.
Everyday life is filled with visual information, in games, advertisements,
the internet and the streets; Tokyo artists and filmmakers have developed a
hybrid language and special aesthetics. The programme shows that Japanese
pop culture is an urban and media-informed culture where the boundaries
between high culture, mass culture, and subculture have become excitingly
blurred. The programme offers a cut and paste of moving images, music, pop
culture, interactive media and art. Special features of the Tech.Pop.Japan

A 50's cinema will be redesigned as a Japanese media-culture lounge where
people can listen to Japanese DJ's, watch films, play games, experience
screen based art, have drinks, eat sushi and read books and magazines from
Japan. The lounge will also show some location based entertainment from
Japan (like arcade games) as well as small portable devices and
installations, featuring TOKYO EPOS from Geert Mul, BITHIKE, presenting
software with which you can make your own animation, WATCHING MUSIC,
and KAGE, with which you can sent animations to one another.

An exhibition of Japanese videogames, which takes visitors on a tour of
Techno-Media city Tokyo, navigated by video games. You can have a fight
downtown, drive a car on the Metropolitan Express Way or attend a dance
contest in the nightlife area.

Film programmes show a new generation of film-makers who come from
different backgrounds such as game design, animation and videogames. For
example Japan Edge, a secret history and forbidden prophesies, using a
mixed-media approach, and drawing from sources such as animation, manga,
Japanese cult films (from Godzilla to yakuza movies), and music videos.
Furthermore there will be programmes with digital shorts from Japanese
film-makers and graphic designers, and music video's featuring Imai Toons,
The Fantastic Plastic Machine, Pizzicato Five, Hideyuki Tanaka, Stereotype
Product and Cowboy Bebop.

There will be multimedia live performances by artists and collaborations
between film-makers, animators and musicians. To be included this year: a
performance by DJ Krush a night around Sublime, the Japanese cutting edge
label for electronic music.

Each year the festival selects three film-makers in mid-career who remain
far too little recognized internationally. This year one of the three will
be Oshii Mamoru, recognized as one of the masters of animation to rank
alongside Miyazaki and Otomo. The festival will present a selection of the
features he has directed and scripted plus several of his short films and
videogames. The programme will include his great GHOST IN THE SHELL.

The Kunsthal will have the exhibition Manga Manga!, the first manga
exhibition in the Netherlands, with art of Japanese comics, from January 22
till March 26, 2000.

In addition to showcasing new directions in cinema and digital media, The
International Film Festival Rotterdam takes an active role in stimulating
new media developments. For the second time the Exploding Cinema organises
a masterclass for film- and television directors and new media designers in
collaboration with the Stimuleringsfonds voor Culturele Omroepprodukties
(the state fund for cultural projects for broadcasting). Film, television
and new media directors work together for a week to investigate new
creative opportunities arising from digital media and interactivity,
concentrating on the future relationship of television and computers.
Focussing on narrative as well as non-linear programs, in fiction and
documentary, the goal of the masterclass is to identify concepts for
programs that could not be made in traditional media or on television
alone. The masterclass will be led by Dutch and international directors and
mentors such as Tota Hasegawa (interface designer) and Glenn Kaino
(Commworks). The masterclas will take place in Rotterdam from January 30
till Febuary 3, 2000.

Exploding Cinema will present a programme of panels and presentations in
collaboration with the CineMart for the professional film industry about
the future of distribution. Panels will focus on how the internet
transforms the existing media industries and who the new players are,
showing new players and networks that are  entering the living room and the
way they will deliver film and video. The programme will ask questions
like: what is the future of distribution? What kind of new hybrid media
forms and content experiences are appearing out of this convergence, and
how will that effect the way an audience interacts with content? Speakers
are for example Robert Tercek (vice president Sony Digital), Rap-artist
Ice-T, Jim Banister (Warner Brothers Online) and Michael Nash (Madison
Project). Keynote speaker is Henry Jenkins, Professor/Director of the
Program in Comparative Media Studies Program at MIT, and writer of FROM

As usual the festival collaborates with other Rotterdam art institutions.
The Boijmans van Beuningen Museum will have an exhibition of work by Sharon
Lockhart, including her new film THEATRAS AMAZONAS plus installations by
Shirin Neshat, Fiona Tan (FACING FORWARD) and Tacita Dean (BUBBLE HOUSE).
Witte de With, centre for contemporary art, presents 'Stimuli', exploring
levels of hallucination, ecstasy, trance and shock in contemporary art.
Included are film/video related installations by Nasrin Tabatabai and Bruce
The Dutch Institute of Architecture (NAI) will have the exhibition; Town
for the Film, Japanese filmarchitecture by Yohei Taneda from January 21
till March 5, 2000.  Yohei Taneda is a film-set designer, whose work is
exhibited for the first time in Europe. It vividly reveals the new notion
of city and architecture depicted in Japanese and Asian cinema.

On Friday January 14, 2000, there are press screenings of films from the
Exploding Cinema section and other work in the Filmmuseum, Vondelpark 3,
Amsterdam, starting at about 10.00 hr. The programme will be e-mailed to
you as soon as it is finished and can be found on our website,

You can now subscribe to the Exploding Cinema mailing list by sending an
e-mail with subject SUBSCRIBE to

The latest information about the festival and Exploding Cinema is available
on the festival Internet site: The digital
catalogue with information about all films will be on line from
mid-January. The programme will appear in print on Thursday 20 January as a
colour magazine with de Volkskrant.

Note for the editorial desks:
For further information you can contact the festival press officers,
Juliette Jansen and
Anita Németh, tel: +31 (10) 890 9090, fax: +31 (10) 890 9091, e-mail:

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