Wednesday, 22 June 2011


I've been zapping TV sitting on the couch after a long and tiresome day at work. I came home and ate the left over dinner Dave cooked up for himself which he kindly offered me to finish off. And I did. All I wanted was to watch Calvet and fall asleep but I ended up watching 'Our War: Caught in the Crossfire' on BBC3. A documentary made up of archival footage made available by the MOD, mostly shot by soldiers themselves with their helmet cameras, as well as interviews with young veterans of the still ongoing war in Afghanistan. It's eye opening in many sense through the eye-lines of the people on the frontline. But mostly it shows what we don't see and won't ever be able to really witness the hell of it all.

Incidentally I am also skimming through wikipedia about Neville Chamberlain and came across the definition of 'appeasement'.

Appeasement = 'a process of settling international quarrels by admitting ad satisfying grievances through rational negotiation and compromise, thereby avoiding the resort to an armed conflict which would be expensive, bloody, and possibly dangerous'.

It has also 'been used as a synonym for weakness and even cowardice since the 1930s, and it is still used in that sense today as a justification for firm, often armed, action in international relations'.

A young chap who served in Afghanistan says "it's a drug, you get addicted to it and you come back thinking how can I get back that feeling again?" Apparently they will be returning to Afghanistan in the coming months serving until they are all but completely withdrawn. Fighting and being courageous, coughing up swear words and broken Pushtu, high-fiving kite flying local kids and building schools and losing and taking lives. Can't help feeling for them and the kids who grow up waving at soldiers and cycling past crumbled schools and houses with their mums and dads in them.

Oh they are showing Come Dine with Me now. Normally I'd watch it but it's late now and it's passed my bed time. Good night.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Taro Hakase Japan Appeal Concert in London

Taro Hakase Japan Appeal Concert London from hikaru toda on Vimeo.

Taro Hakase was one of many people who organised charity events in support of Japan tsunami disaster.

The concert in the video took place in London 17.03.2011.

The message is to raise awareness of the importance of willingness to support those in need, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant the act maybe.

I hope to contribute in a small way through means that are available to me. If you can spread the message of support to those who need it the most, by linking the video to other sites, downloading it and showing it anywhere available to you, that would be amazing!

I know there are arguments against donating to a wealthy country like Japan from the perspective of many N.G.O's primary purpose being to help those in developing countries. There are many factors involved in why people would part with their money for a cause and I think it is entirely up to the choice of the individual to decide how and what they contribute to which cause. If we can encourage the act of giving, regardless of whether the country's government has a bigger budget to deal with disasters in such scale, to help the individuals who need basic things such as food, clothes, and fuel to survive through the tough times facing them ahead, it can only be a good thing.

After all Non Governmental Organisations are there to support individuals in need, not the governments that are not necessarily the best equipped to help the people on the ground. Surely, N.G.O works are aimed to reaching as many people as possible who need aid. It seems a bit twisted to me to equate individual sufferings to the wealth of a country.

Anyhow, thanks for watching, please do spread the positive message of the act of giving, either in materials, time, hugs or just a few kind words... 

Monday, 28 February 2011

test 2

test 2 from hikaru toda on Vimeo.

a really rough test. and a rougher edit.
got a bit fixated on the smoke. up it goes.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

test 1

test 1 from hikaru toda on Vimeo.

A little test I did before the upcoming doc shoot.
I feel so under prepared for the shoot next weekend...
I will be "shooting" stills.

I'm assisting directing a new documentary directed by Stephen Burton, produced by Claire Lewis ("The End of the Line", "The Up Series"). It is a visual exploration of how autistic children sees the world. More on the doc later...

Monday, 14 February 2011

Philippe Parreno @ Sepentine Gallery

So I am exporting and have time to kill while FCP cuts me out of all of its other functions. They should really try to fix that...
Anyway, I went to this exhibition on its last day and am glad I managed to make it. I'm breaking out of the usual pattern of earmarking places and events to go and realizing I missed them months after. Let's try keeping up with my wants and curiosities.

I really liked how he used the space of Serpentine Gallery to herd us audience through one projection to another, guiding us with sounds both part of the projection and of the gallery and its surroundings. One annoying thing was that after each projection you are given about a minute and a half according to my own rough estimation to get yourself to the other projection space before the second one starts. This gives you very little time to enjoy the fake snow falling outside the window with the backdrop of Kensington gardens misty with early evening rain, revealed as the shutters open to announce the end of the projection, or the people wandering off and meandering around the space in silhouettes, whispering their way to the next destination. I like watching still people against the background of moving light or moving people casting shadows on the perforated screen making it a bit translucent but not if you don't squint.

Oh export finished. Better get back to work.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Menstruation Machine for boys

Making of Menstruation Machine from hikaru toda on Vimeo.

A Making of I made for artist Sputniko! for her upcoming MOMA show.

During the fitting of the prototype, the product designer Naoki Kawamoto was subject to the torture of the abtronix used in the machine to simulate period cramps. He looked like he enjoyed it. If only we can enjoy period cramps like he enjoyed the muscle paralyzing electric shock...

And yes, she caters for curious girls as well and has a Penis Cybernetique for girls who want to wear a penis as a fashion statement as well as their statement of excitement.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

will be sleeping furiously

Sleep Furiously (2008) Gideon Koppel

Watched this nicely titled doc by Gideon Koppel. I like the name, it's baffling and fitting at the same time. Will you be sleeping furiously during the film? Maybe, if you are one for epic plots and mazes of narratives. Or is he challenging us not to by suggesting it in the title, to us rebellious type of audience...? Maybe, either way anyway. Aphex Twin provides the soundtrack to the calming landscapes of a Welsh village I forget the name.

My type of doc. It's nice to see the way someone observes their environment can reveal such a gentle and loving gaze. Placing oneself at a distance as if coming closer will break the vulnerable veneer of the people and the village moving in slow pace in the quickly changing times.

I like it because I know I look at and present things in a completely different way. I find his way pleasing to watch but challenging to do myself. But I appreciate it, and know I need to learn to be patient in seeing things so discovery can follow that can't be found through flickering ways that I normally see things. Need to zap out of my zapping ways!

There are many animals in it too. Can't go wrong with cute little animals. Piglets mistaking mama pig's ass for her milky nipples and agitated dogs and too cool for everything cats. I almost peed with excitement when John managed to herd his 3 sheeps into the gated compound as part of a competition. The judges observing John's struggle cheer him on secretly from their seats in the truck parked off-field, giving a modest woohoo when he finally manages. Yay John and his dog! Oh forgot to say, spoiler alert!

And so I sign off my first blog. Need to click preview and i imagine i should do some layouting or something? let's see...