Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Hiroko Shino, Beat Takeshi Kitano, Richard Kern, Masha Komarinskaya, Bjrk
Director: Travis Klose
Genres: Indie & Art House, Documentary
Ikasumi | Tokyo, Japan | 01/08/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"There is potential for an interesting film in Nobuyoshi Araki and his work. The man is a dynamo and comes across as a child who has somehow figured out how to get his way at will. Though the work is broader than Araki gets credit for, including in this film, he is mainly known for photographs that are considered art by some and exploitative pornography by others. Don't expect to hear from the latter camp in this movie, which accepts as a groundrule that the man is a great artist but never attempts to tell us why, and which comes across as merely a publicity effort for a man already holding a black belt in self-promotion.
Various pop culture figures tell us how great Araki is, but the film never gets past the surface nor asks any probing questions. Bjork is understandably infatuated with the lovely portraits of Araki's late wife. But neither that relationship nor the way in which her tragic death has shaped the man are fully examined.
One model places the photographer in the tradition of Japanese shunga (erotic and explicit woodblock prints). While there is indeed such a tradition (which, by the way, makes one laugh at the absurd claim on the DVD box that Araki is "provoking the sexual prudery of Japan." And by whom was this written? An American?), even the most casual viewer can immediately spot a clear difference; while shunga typically portrayed men and women together in erotic scenes, Araki's shots show just the woman, in a position of being dominated (with the photographer himself as the implicit dominator). But the model's comment is not questioned and indeed this film never asks anything serious or challenging. And its allegiance to the superficial is further underscored by its flashing of hundreds of photographs across the screen in rapid-fire succession, which only enhances the viewer's impression of these supposed works of art as cheap and disposable.
A much more interesting film about a troubled and charismatic man, his work, the controversy surrounding it, and its context in Japanese culture could have been made. Compared with what could have been explored, Arakimentari is a mere peep show."
Truly a beautiful portrait of a complex man
film addict | new york , NY | 05/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this at IDFA film festival in Amsterdam and have been an Araki fan ever since. I found myself totally amazed with the filmmakers ability to depict the many personalities of such a complex man. I even teared at the end. 5 stars."
Dante Busquets | Mexico City, D.F. Mexico | 06/05/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
An excellent trip into the world of one of Japan's photography GIANTS. For many years Araki Noboyushi has been constantly producing an amazing amount of work, and has literally hundreds of books to his name. He photographs everything: portraits, street snapshots, nudes, porn, architecture, himself and his life. He has said that we'd wish to be a god with dozens of arms, and each one armed with a camera.
Very interesting, fun and sexy documentary. Director Travis Klose did a great job at following Araki and giving his film good rhythm; slowing down when it was necessary, and speeding up when things need to pick up. You'll get to see Araki working in a private photo-shoot, on the street, editing his work and talking about his life and oeuvre. If you know and like this man, this is a great film to watch. The music is great too and adds a lot to the different atmospheres throughout the film."
What does it mean to be a photographer?
Hiram Gomez Pardo | Valencia, Venezuela | 06/23/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Irreverent, provocative, iconoclast and genial are some of the virtues more frequent about the significance and transcendence of this emblematic artist of the camera.
This dynamic documental offers us a wide landscape about his works along four decades. The way he got to give the Japanese sexuality a true identity, beyond the prejudices, through his original and sensual images of feminine nakedness. He possesses an admirable sense of humour and good vibrations visibly contrasted around every single frame.
Bjorg, Takeshi Kitano one of the most prestigious filmmakers, as well as other partners of the photography give overtly their opinion about this worldly icon.
A fascinating and transcendent documental that you should not miss it!