English version in following post


Poster from Wikipedia – “Shodo Girls” as distributed in Japan

At Wikipedia:








Shodo Girls (sketchy synopsis) at IMDB?
Review by Russ Imrie Feb 2, 2013

Poster from Wikipedia – “Shodo Girls” as distributed in Japan

At Wikipedia:

Production of: Nippon Television Network Corporation and Warner Bros.


I was fortunate to view Shodo Girls at the Japanese Information and Cultural Center (Embassy of Japan) on 18th Street in Washington DC.
At first, the cultural milieu seems stilted. But then you “get it” and the terseness evolves into an appreciation of the film’s framework—the drive, the community dynamics, the art of Shodo (Japanese Calligraphy), and something everyone can relate to, a cherished hometown and its people.

The true storyline actually evolved into an annual Shodo competition among schools from across Japan. Here’s a YouTube video of a recent one.

Riko Narumi as Satoko Hayakawa (早川 里子?) leads the way, hard-headed and driven. Her breakthrough moment comes as the school calligraphy club shrinks and is losing members, many upset with her style. The community’s tradition as a center for the arts of calligraphy and premium, hand-made paper are at risk as business slows in the general business slowdown of 2008-2009.

Insight and the contributions of the goofy substitute club mentor, family and friends in the paper trade, some less-straight-laced club members, and ultimately the city’s wholehearted appreciation of the art unleash her. The final scenes of the messy, musical competition that takes place at the high school gym had the audience in tears. It’s a good one.

I travel a bit and usually take my MacBook.
I take many photos and videos, usually with an iPhone (where I’m blogging now using the WordPress app).
My iPhoto Library is huge and I keep it on an external HD.
I often hauled it around on trips—not the greatest scheme, and bulky.
So do what I’ve done is to start using a USB thumb/flash drive instead. When you return home, export all your new photos and vids in original format from the thumb drive then import to your base library in iPhoto.
Works great, saves time and grief.


3.5 GB Flash/Thumb drive mounted in USB port – photo Russ Imrie 2013


Early fall, warm days, fun times all around town.

IMovie on iPhone iOS 6 quick vid done on the sidewalk central Clarendon

Nats and Clarendon Days = jammed Metro - photo Russ Imrie

Nats and Clarendon Days = jammed Metro – photo Russ Imrie

The Nats fans jamming a usually quiet Saturday Metro ride

(blog post “on the road” from the Free WordPress app)


The DC Shorts Film Festival opens August 6th and runs for 10 days in the District.

Over a hundred volunteers gathered Wednesday night for orientation and mixing.

Instagram hashtag will be #dcshorts and photos will be going up throughout.

Stay tuned

This gallery contains 7 photos.

A surprise gallery of art masks – many around turmoil, tragedy, and pain. Just a few here in our gallery… Masks used to hold heads steady during radiation therapy for Head and Neck Cancer (HNC), then transformed by artists and will be silent-auctioned September  12, 2012 to directly assist individuals and their families during treatments. …

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From The Monkey Cage and Joshua Tucker…

An hilarious all-around grafitti-style outbreak of humo[u]r on British Olympic Art Sensibilities. Or not. Anyway, it inspires me to regale you with my global festival memories.

I missed Expo 67 in my old hometown area ofMontreal, of no importance of all to anyone except for fact that it was a global event that was to exhibit architectural and artistic pieces of note and other than a zippy trip up and down the Space Needle in Seattle, my sole experience with these epic facilities.

So I was visiting my home town in 1968 right after high school and foisted off on relatives for a tour de Quebec, sort of. With Pierre, my co-worker at the Club Dorion, a private country club where I toiled (and polished off my share of Labatt’s Blue over that blurry summer) I headed over to the island site for thrills on a roller coaster thingie, checking out les femmes, finding some cold Blue.

All I can say is that Montreal has reportedly paid off the debt for Expo 67. The Habitat apartments are still going strong if a bit leaky. I vaguely remember the enthusiastic vision embodied in all the stylistic leaps in architecture and structure. Not much more.

I hope London’s squiggly tower and the Coke pavilion cohere in vision and not rust into shabby monuments to bureaucracy and too much brew.

Russ Imrie August 2012

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