By Kristin Reiber Harris
Flower Punk, Alison Klayman’s film recently released on The New Yorker documentary site, delights visually and aesthetically with the bonus of illuminating Japanese cultural traditions regarding the natural world. Alison Klayman is a veteran director who has created a body of work frequently focusing on artists. Her debut feature, Ai Wei Wei: Never Sorry premiered at Sundance in 2012. There it was awarded a US Documentary Special Jury Prize for Spirit of Defiance and was later shortlisted for an Academy Award.
Klayman recently had a conversation with NYWIFT board member Joyce Pierpoline about Flower Punk and her career. Alison clearly enjoyed directing her film project documenting the life and work of Japanese botanical artist Azuma Makoto. The film follows Azuma in his Tokyo studio and beyond. Originally from a small town in Japan, he came to Tokyo with a high school buddy to play in a punk band. His buddy, photographer Shiinoki Shunsuketo, is now his partner in their botanical art business JARDIN des FLEURS. Shiinoki documents Azuma’s work in still, timelapse, and video. Some of their more unusual projects include botanical sculpture sent into space and under the ocean. There appear to be no bounds to the team’s creative energy and desire to experiment.
As Azuma weaves his magic arranging flowers, he talks about his passion for flowers and his philosophy. Cut flowers have a 10 day life span. This makes him feel like he is chasing the game of life. He even finds beauty in the dying out of those flowers. A deeply spiritual man, Azuma was very moved by the devastation of the tsunami in Fukushima. He delivered floral arrangements to local schools and planted sunflowers in the radioactive areas of the disaster. Azuma marveled at nature’s ability to regenerate in those regions contaminated by radioactivity. He clearly has a deep connection to the natural world and great reverence for life; plants in particular. Alison joined Azuma in his home village with his mother and other family members. He said his mother taught him to love flowers, saying they were God’s work and should be picked and displayed.
Lush imagery and a fascinating, articulate artist make this 30-minute documentary a must see film for anyone interested in how human’s actively connect to the natural world and flowers as a form of creative expression.
Watch the full NYWIFT conversation with filmmaker Alison Klayman here:
Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Katrina Montgomery
Please join us in welcoming new NYWIFT member Katrina Montgomery! Katrina is an NYC filmmaker with an affinity for the Bronx, the neighborhood where she grew up and still considers home. Katrina served as both Director and Director of Photography for Get Away For A Day with Allyshia Renay, which aired on BRIC, MNN, and BronxNet. Currently, she is studying film directing at Brooklyn College’s Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema and will be receiving her diploma shortly. Katrina spoke to us about her inspirations, using comedy to tackle tough topics, and lessons learned from a successful fundraising campaign.READ MORE
Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Derya Celikkol
Welcome to NYWIFT, Derya Celikkol! A proud graduate of the Experimental Theatre Wing at Tisch Schools of the Arts, Derya Celikkol is a Turkish filmmaker who lives in New York City and has contributed her extraordinary artistry to numerous projects. In addition to acting and production designing, Celikkol has directed and produced films, some of which have been showcased and won awards at film festivals worldwide.READ MORE
Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Kate Walker
With a knack for merging film with her passion for science and journalism, Kate Walker has triumphed as an environmental and science producer, director, writer, and editor. Her projects, which have aired on networks such as PBS, Vice, HBO, IFC, and MSNBC, among other media platforms, typically raise awareness of prevalent social and environmental issues such as marginalized identities and climate change. Read more about this former high school science teacher’s remarkable career journey as we discuss some must-see documentaries and Kate’s approach to developing a captivating filmic style that simultaneously educates and entertains audiences.READ MORE
Meet the New NYWIFT Member: LaKisa Renee
Welcome to NYWIFT, LaKisa Renee! LaKisa is a multitalented media/film industry professional, journalist, host, actress, videographer, voice artist, and award-winning makeup artist. She is the owner and Founder of LaKisa Renee Entertainment, a media, fashion and events company. As a media professional, she is a contributing journalist for Cultured Focus Magazine, In Black Magazine, and Steller Magazine. LaKisa spoke to us about her wide range of roles in media, fashion, and entertainment.READ MORE
Comments are closed