True Films

Kintaro Walks Japan


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A restless young Californian sets out to walk the length of Japan in order to impress his half-Japanese girl friend, whose father walked the length of North and South America. What makes this autobiographical travelogue worth watching is the sheer fun and exuberance of the hero, nickname Kintaro, as he pulls everyone he meets into his movie. Smile, you are part of my adventure! Walk all day for months? Life is beautiful! Kintaro inspires fun every step of the way, in every frame of the movie, as he plays with film and life, and jokes, bonds, learns, and shares his walk. His joy is incredibly contagious. Once in your life you should do what this guy did. Make a fool of yourself and see what’s down the road. Feeling low? Watch this! And as a bonus, this light-hearted documentary shows a mellow side of Japan very few gaijin ever see. (It doesn’t say anywhere in the film but Kintaro (real name Tyler MacNiven) won the $1 million Amazing Race 9 reality TV program.)

– KK

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Kintaro Walks Japan
By Tyler MacNiven
2005, 67 min.
$18

Available for purchase here.

Official website

Read more about the film at Wikipedia

Posted December 20, 2006 at 5:00 am | comments


How Art Made the World


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This fancy BBC series reveals art to be not the product of culture, but the producer and shaper of culture. It’s a wonderfully creative and imaginative show of how great art changed our world, our ideas, and even our humanity itself. Each episode tackles a big idea using the latest state-of-the-art documentary techniques and special effects. It’s brimming with news and consequential notions, but presented clearly and with wit. I think the series succeeds admirably. It does so in part by expanding your concept of what art is – without ever bringing up that boring debate. I like that they often focus on underappreciated artworks. In the end you see that art, like science and technology, has altered our environment and our identity. We are art.

– KK

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How Art Made the World
Directed by Robin Dashwood
2005, 290 min. (2 discs)
$23, DVD

Official website

Read more about the film at Wikipedia

Rent from Netflix

Available from Amazon

Posted December 13, 2006 at 5:00 am | comments
| in category Culture


Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus


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This off-beat tour will take you to the other side of the railroad tracks. Our host — a musician — shows you his homeland in the rural Deep South. He buys a used car, hauls a wrong-eyed Jesus statue in the trunk, and circles around trailer parks and BBQ joints listening to genuine contemporary musicians – and their many stories. Everyone has a story. The host has a story. It would be misguided to suggest this was a two-eyed look at poor white trash culture, but not too far off either. This film has great music, authentic characters, and an honest gaze. It’s an amusing trip.

– KK

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Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus
Directed by Andrew Douglas
2003, 82 min.
$50, DVD

Official website

Read more about the film at Wikipedia

Rent from Netflix

Available from Amazon

Posted December 6, 2006 at 5:00 am | comments
| in category Culture