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Jun 23, 2012 | Issue: 952 | No Comments | 1,208 views

Kohji Shiiki

Short stop

Regarding “Fleeting Flicks” (Feature, Jun 5): Why is Metropolis bothering to join up with the Short Shorts Film Festival when there are loads of other more interesting film festivals in Japan? Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival is a million times more interesting than the inflated corporate enterprise of Short Shorts with all its lousy big-bucks sponsors. Partner with Yubari instead and your readers might be a bit more interested!—ranfx

Thanks for covering the Short Shorts Festival. I found out about it last year because of Metropolis, and I went with my wife to some of the programs. It was really fun and better than watching all the usual Hollywood dross. There are some bad movies but overall the quality was really high, and it’s great seeing all that stuff from around the world, made by talented and passionate young movie makers.—Jonathan Lee


Regarding “Still Moving On” (The Last Word, Jun 8): I’ve come across gaijin who did a day’s volunteering whilst videoing, taking photos, and recording the thanks that they received (all premeditated). Then they put that material on a website seeking adulation from their people back home. Such menial help with ulterior motives is no more than scum-aid. Thousands of Japanese are dead or homeless. Think about that, scum. Good job [writer] Adam Bolton!—NZ Blacks

I commend you for your willingness to lend the aid you could. But rather than wondering how many more individuals can lend a hand, at this point, more than a year after the disaster, the question is why the central government has done so little. I’ve yet to read anywhere where much is happening on the ground, unless local or prefectural governments have taken the lead. There is something to be said for local initiative, but this was a national natural disaster, not a house fire. Even armies of individual volunteers can’t affect much change without the weight of a centralized authority doing the, in this case, literal heavy lifting.—Jeffrey


Regarding “David Powell” (Q&A, Mar 3, 2011): With due respect to businessman Powell and his hobby, but why is it that people who own a camera and pursue photography as a hobby call themselves “photographers.” I know a lot of people who own a piano and practice it, but they don’t call themselves a “pianist.” Keeping a diary doesn’t make you a writer, either.—John Doe

John Doe, your comments are small-minded. A person who is skilled and active in taking photographs has every right to call themselves a photographer. You say “keeping a diary doesn’t make you a writer.” What will certainly not make you a writer is NOT WRITING. Your narrow view of what humans can accomplish in the span of their lives is unfortunate—if only for your own happiness and fulfillment. Albert Einstein worked as a clerk in a Swiss patent office when he was developing his groundbreaking insights into how the universe works. Yet, in your narrow thinking, you would not call him a “physicist.” Tsk tsk…—JB



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