In this series, we’ve talked about Japanese anime and the influenced of 80s Asian high-tech urbanism on first wave cyberpunk (and beyond). But you may not realize that Japan had its own cyberpunk cinematic moment in the 80s and 90s, with films like the cyberpunk body horror of Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989) and Tetsuo II: Body Hammer by Shinya Tsukamoto, the proto-cyberpunk biker films of Sogo Ishii (which would influence Akira), and the guerilla films of Shozin Fukui (who was a student of both Tsukamoto and Ishii).
Dazed has a good piece on Japanese cyberpunk that focuses on the work of these three innovators.
In the mid-80s, the Japanese film industry was at an all-time low. Several of the major studios had gone bankrupt, and the ones that remained had either focused their attentions to softcore pornography or suspended production entirely in favour of distributing Hollywood imports. Even the most well-established directors struggled to secure funding. And independent cinema just wasn’t economically viable.
The Japanese “cyberpunk” movement was a product of this filmographic impotence, and a total rejection of the traditions of Japanese cinema that had preceded it. The period dramas of Yasujiro Ozu, the samurai epics of Akira Kurosawa, and even the documentary-style yakuza dramas of Kinji Fukasaku had no place in a 1980s Japan that was experiencing a world-renowned technological revolution. Instead, a new generation of filmmakers with a critical view of the hyper-modern world were picking up video cameras as a means to attack the country’s shifting identity, creating wild dystopias that foreshadowed the economic crash that would hit Japan in the 90s.
[H/t Alberto Gaitán]
We are angry, frustrated, and in pain because of the violence and murder of Black people by the police because of racism. We are in the fight AGAINST RACISM. George Floyd was murdered, his life stolen. The Adafruit teams have specific actions we’ve done, are doing, and will do together as a company and culture. We are asking the Adafruit community to get involved and share what you are doing. The Adafruit teams will not settle for a hash tag, a Tweet, or an icon change. We will work on real change, and that requires real action and real work together. That is what we will do each day, each month, each year – we will hold ourselves accountable and publish our collective efforts, partnerships, activism, donations, openly and publicly. Our blog and social media platforms will be utilized in actionable ways. Join us and the anti-racist efforts working to end police brutality, reform the criminal justice system, and dismantle the many other forms of systemic racism at work in this country, read more @ adafruit.com/blacklivesmatter
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.