Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Freedom of speech... just watch what you say

If you've ever wondered exactly what kind of people are behind the movement to prevent the Japanese release of "The Cove," here are some enlightening highlights from a speech at a 40-minute demonstration held by over 30 protesters in front of Shibuya Station in Tokyo on Saturday June 5th.
Freedom of speech ain't something that exists everywhere like oxygen. [abbreviated] That freedom of speech is guaranteed by Japan! The Japan that we have defended for hundreds and thousands of years guarantees our freedom of speech. We unyieldingly object to the kind of freedom of speech that insults Japan, that tells Japan to eat shit! We can at least barely acknowledge that traitors who hate Japan have the right to inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. But we cannot acknowledge the right of traitorous bastards who hate Japan to speak ill of Japan. You might think that this is an outrageous idea, [abbreviated] but our country's criminal code recognizes the right to self-defense. Blowing away a fella who tries to injure any of these people here would be permitted as self-defense. Shooting and killing someone who tried to ram their car into us here would be within the limits of self-defense. Similarly, protecting the honor, pride, traditional culture, and right to exist of the people of the Japanese race in this nation called Japan from those who would attempt to damage this nation called Japan is an act of racial self-defense as an extension of the right to self-defense. "Please protect Japan's freedom of speech" while they're telling Japan to eat shit? Like hell we will! Whoever said that is lacking in logical coherence. This kind of movie should be played on televideos at mental hospitals. This is not the kind of thing that cinemas should be screening. This president of Unplugged [the company attempting to distribute the film] is unbelievable. [abbreviated] This lily-livered gutless idiot bastard is trying to screen a film that belittles Japan. What a bloody joke! [abbreviated] This guy says "Make up your mind after you've seen it." What the hell are you talking about! Why should I have to pay 1800 yen at a cinema to watch such a piece of shit movie? [abbreviated] So if we pay, he'll listen to our opinions? Not a chance. You know he's doing this thinking that the price of a ticket includes a fee for listening to our complaints. This guy is trading in anti-Japanese sentiment! What a traitor this bastard is!
[Then a passing foreigner, presumably caucasian, gives a Nazi salute and a "Sieg Heil" to the protestors, eliciting the following response:]
Oi, what the fuck! Stupid bastard! Come on! Yeah you, whitey!
[The foreigner gets into a scuffle with protestors, but several police break it up. The gentleman with the mic continues:]
This is Japan. Beautiful Japan. The island that is home to the Japanese people. This is not a place for dirty white pigs to spout their insolence! [abbreviated] Kick anti-Japanese foreigners out of Japan! Fucking insolent western whites can get out of Japan! We won't allow the screening of "The Cove"! We will fight until the Japanese release of "The Cove" is canceled!
I have to admit that they do have some valid points. I can't count the times I've thought to myself, "Why should I have to pay 1800 yen at a cinema to watch such a piece of shit movie?"

Friday, June 04, 2010

Kitano Takeshi terrorizes Parisians

Better late than never, but here's another of my film-related translations for the Asahi Shimbun, this time about Kitano Takeshi's exhibition at The Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain in Paris.


As a translator I don't receive a byline on the story, so you'll just have to take my word for it. Would I lie to you? (don't answer that)

Soda Kazuhiro on "The Cove"

"Campaign" and "Mental" documentary director Soda Kazuhiro weighs in on the cancellation of the Japanese release of "The Cove" at main venue Theater N in Shibuya due to a sustained phone call campaign by right-wing citizens groups:
They say it's to avoid "inconveniencing their neighbors," but the ones causing the inconvenience are the right-wingers, not the cinema. Why is a cinema so worried about something like that? More than that, a cinema yielding [to such pressure] is a huge inconvenience for discourse and expression in Japanese society. http://twitter.com/KazuhiroSoda/status/15346279454

But you know, in a way it's impressive that [those groups] are pouring so much energy into picking a fight over a film they haven't even seen. I couldn't do something like that - it's too scary (ha ha!). I suppose they decided for themselves that "The Cove" is 'anti-Japanese' based on all the media reports on it, but where did all that trust in the media come from?
Soda has actually been very critical of the film's biased approach, both on his Twitter page and on his blog. See Jason Gray's writeup for details on the cancellation and the campaign against "The Cove."