entertainment

AKB48’s Atsuko Maeda gets 'Foreign Cinema’s Best Supporter' award

38 Comments

AKB48’s Atsuko Maeda, 20, who recently announced that she would be graduating from the megapopular group, this week received an award as “Foreign Cinema’s Best Supporter.”

The award was presented to her by the Foreign Film Importer-Distributors Association of Japan.

Maeda said she sees a lot of foreign films and often records her thoughts on her blog. She said she often views movies on a portable DVD player during makeup before performances, and can watch as many as five foreign films in one week. Maeda said "Hugo" was the last foreign film she saw.

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38 Comments
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A well deserved and hard won award ...I,m sure she is quite an expert on foreign cinema subject .. Well done , BFC Supporteist :))

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Never heard of this person.Who is she?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Never heard of this person. Who is she?

She's the winner of the Best Foreign Cinema Supportist Award, of course.

On the other hand, maybe you should hang out with more 12-year-old girls and/or 50-year-old salarimen.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

"Foreign Film Importer-Distributors Association of Japan."

What joke this group is. Over the past few years there have been literally hundreds of excellent films from around the world that have never made it to Japan on the big screen or on DVD. Films that inspired awards at major festivals around the world. Even films that were significant critical hits. Yet... no sign of them in Japan.

This group is a silly sham committed only to importing the most commerical films that they cannot avoid importing. Probably because the film industry in Japan is afraid to put the talent of global foreign cinema up against the vacuous tripe that production houses here churn out filled with silly "talento."

If they want to give someone an award for "Best Supporter" they should give the Foreign Film Importer-Distributors Association of Japan an award for depriving Japanese of quality cinema from around the world.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

One more thing. Since AKB48 seems to now dominate every aspect of Japanese life, why not go a step farther and award her the office of Prime Minister. Why not? Wouldn't be any worst and it would align itself well with the total domination of Japanese culture by all things AKB48.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Sounds like a blatant attempt to drum up attention for a failing firm. I checked the associations website http://www.gaihai.jp/ and they don't mention this event (which is daft) but more importantly, they don't list previous winners of this specific award (they mention distributor award, etc), which does suggest this is tailor made to be an advertising event. But no one would misuse the **B48 brand like that, would they?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Some people just don't get it. In the states, Kristen Stewart won a best actress award. And Selena Gomez won best TV actress... Go figure!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Who cares how many movies she watches? We don't even know what she watches. For this import group things like "Transformers" qualifies as foreign cinema. Can't imagine her watching 5 top end art films a week. Probably five mainstream American Hollywood films a week.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I never knew they were such bastions of culture. First the treasures of Tutankhamun and now this. Thank heavens we have such dedicated high profile people to ensure such artistic marvels recieve the attention they deserve.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

tkoind2APR. 13, 2012 - 09:26AM JST What joke this group is. Over the past few years there have been literally hundreds of excellent films from around the world that have never made it to Japan on the big screen or on DVD. Films that inspired awards at major festivals around the world. Even films that were significant critical hits. Yet... no sign of them in Japan. This group is a silly sham committed only to importing the most commerical films that they cannot avoid importing. Probably because the film industry in Japan is afraid to put the talent of global foreign cinema up against the vacuous tripe that production houses here churn out filled with silly "talento." If they want to give someone an award for "Best Supporter" they should give the Foreign Film Importer-Distributors Association of Japan an award for depriving Japanese of quality cinema from around the world.

You sound annoyed. Just cope and get on with your day. Why become annoyed?

There are so many things that are annoying and inconvenient to the entirety of society that we ignore. Why not put that attention to those issues instead of being stressed by what some group like this which isn't causing any real harm to anyone.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

tkoind2APR. 13, 2012 - 10:41AM JST Who cares how many movies she watches? We don't even know what she watches. For this import group things like "Transformers" qualifies as foreign cinema. Can't imagine her watching 5 top end art films a week. Probably five mainstream American Hollywood films a week.

Why choose to be stressed by this? Just let people live.

You do have a choice about how you see things. You can choose to be annoyed or you can choose to see it for what it is and do any of the following, ignore it, move on, watch in amusement, smile, encourage her, shake your head in disbelief or any of a very long list of reactions before you have to land on annoyed. The trouble with some people in that they are WAY too uptight. Live, let others live and choose to be positive.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Atsuko who???

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Finally the REAL NEWS of the day. Thanks JT.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

What joke this group is. Over the past few years there have been literally hundreds of excellent films from around the world that have never made it to Japan on the big screen or on DVD.

Now why does that sound familiar? How many of the excellent films from around the world get a US release? One per hundred? One per thousand? Or one per million?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

thokind2 Apr. 13, 2012 - 09:27AM JST One more thing. Since AKB48 seems to now dominate every aspect of Japanese life, why not go a step farther and award her the office of Prime Minister. Why not? Wouldn't be any worst and it would align itself well with the total domination of Japanese culture by all things AKB48.

It is possible that she may become a first female prime minister of Japan. She will be better than other female prime ministers. Who cares? At the moment, AKB48 is more popular than PM or Crown Princess of Japan in China and Asian nations. Recently their band represent as good will ambassador of Japan in China. It is the most successful export of Japan to China. She may become a Michale Jackson of Japan who will make more money for her band and nation. There is a reference for their contribution to nation.

http://asiancorrespondent.com/75316/too-hot-for-cool-japan/

Japan need something cool and attractive export. Japanese goods and cars are not competitive and successful like before. Japan is losing market shares in almost all of industry including entertainment. Natural disasters and high value of Yen are unhelpful for economy too. If Japan has other ten pop bands which are successful like AKB48, it will make more export. In the return, the export income can be used for helping homeless, unemployment, elderly and disabled people. Celebrities promote the products for marketing. There is nothing wrong about highlighting the celebrity hobby and interest. It is a strategy of making money.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I would happily accompany her to watch foreign films together. AKB may be pap but she is a sweetie (probably a bubble head, but a sweetie).

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Maiko, I see you are bored today. But I will indulge you.

I am not annoyed. I am expressing an opinion. I am not trying to stop AKB48 or any of its members from being what ever it is they are trying to be.

While it would be a very loose use of the word "Art" to apply it to anything AKB produces, I would still defend their right to produce as much of their "art" as they please. Even if it annoys others. It is an entirely different discussion as to whether what they produce, or rather their producers produce constitutes art or not. In the eyes of the beholder I believe is correct.

My opinion on the state of international film in Japan stands. It is hardly an act of being annoyed to point out issues with how little quality film from around the world comes to Japan. This is called being "concerned". Try it on for size, it can fit rather nicely when dealing with the world around you.

Thanks for playing. Next....

0 ( +4 / -4 )

"Now why does that sound familiar? How many of the excellent films from around the world get a US release? One per hundred? One per thousand? Or one per million?"

I cannot speak to the state of independent and international film in some places in the US. But probably you are correct .

But if you live in any of the major cities in the US, there is a thriving international cinema community and dozens of signficant film festivals all over the nation that import many films every year.

Take Seattle for example. Not the biggest city in the US by any means. There is the SIFF film festival which screens a huge number of international films. Many of those are subsequently picked up for local and regional distribution. There are several dedicated theatres who focus upon international cinema. And the DVD shops and online rental resources include many new foreign titles on a regular basis.

By comparrision, Tsutaya has significantly reduced the number of foreign films on their shelves. Most on demand services have only mainstream titles. And with the excpetion of Cinefil there are no dedicated channels showing global cinema.

Sadly even many of the art films from Japan fare better off at international festivals than here in Japan where the market is dominated by fluffy pop movies. Do you remember the art film that won best foreign film a couple years back? The story of a funeral home worker in Japan? That film did not hit in Japan until after it was received well abroad.

Bottom line, Japan could do much better in promoting global cinema and even local quality cinema. AKB48 involved or not.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I agree that this group hasn't been promoting really good movies so far, and I think awarding Maeda with this "Best Supporter" stuff is just an attempt of the group to use Maeda's popularity to promote foreign movies. No, even Maeda won't help them, I'm afraid.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Oh when will this crap stop? Best Jeanists, best smile... and now this?? Do these people who come up with such crap not have better things to do at their job? Seems not. If not, why do they have jobs? Who pays for this crap to happen?

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

So for you, it's "being concerned" or "expressing an opinion", but for others who might see things differently, it's "being annoyed"?

By comparrision, Tsutaya has significantly reduced the number of foreign films on their shelves. Most on demand services have only mainstream titles. And with the excpetion of Cinefil there are no dedicated channels showing global cinema.

Can't you order the movies you wish to see either online (from overseas) or have friends/family from back home buy them and send them to you? That's what I sometimes do when I can't find a particular movie I am looking for here in Japan. You could even try to download them if you wanted to go that route, couldn't you? Again I don't see the need to stress out what kinds of movies are available in Japan. Just expressing my opinion that's all.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Yes Ninja Dave well said. Thank you for expressing your opinion and no I am not annoyed by it.

I was just posting something interesting that I read yesterday that I thought was sort of "fluffy bunny" sounding. Thank you for confirming that for me. :D

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Maiko, do you have a ton of cash because ordering movies from home that you might want to watch is expensive. I only buy movies I like, not ones I just want to watch once.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

tmarieAPR. 13, 2012 - 03:08PM JST Maiko, do you have a ton of cash because ordering movies from home that you might want to watch is expensive. I only buy movies I like, not ones I just want to watch once.

You don't need tons of cash to do that. I have bought a few DVDs before and have had them sent to me.

I sometimes buy books online too, even though I usually only end up reading them once.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

You do need a ton of cash. If someone watches one movie a week, to order it would be about 1500 yen - minimum. Add that up and that is a ton of cash. Books take hours to read. Movies are over in two hours.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

tmarieAPR. 13, 2012 - 03:34PM JST You do need a ton of cash. If someone watches one movie a week, to order it would be about 1500 yen - minimum. Add that up and that is a ton of cash. Books take hours to read. Movies are over in two hours.

I don't think you need tons of cash, but maybe our financial situations are different. Maybe you prefer (need) to spend you money one way and I another.

I used to go see movies quite a lot, sometimes 3 or 4 times a month, and that cost anywhere between 1500-1800 a ticket for a single movie.

Lots of DVDs have loads of special features, special commentaries, extended versions, deleted scenes, etc., etc. which is usually why I prefer DVD/BR these days to going to the cinema.

I said I sometimes buy DVDs and have them shipped to me. I don't have stuff sent to me every week. I do also rent stuff as well or watch stuff or download them from places like iTunes.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Maiko, the point of the other conversation was not about opinion. It was about people being annoyed by the artist carrying out her activities.

You can have an opinion without being annoyed. I would hope this would be obvious. No one is robbing you of your opinion. But I stand by my position that being annoyed is not adequate mandate to prevent others from going about their lives.

Equally having an opinion does not prevent others going about their lives. It is simply and expression. And hardly the same topic.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Artist?

I thought we were talking about the availability of certain types of foreign films in Japan. You just seemed annoyed (sorry I mean opinionated) about this group not allowing the real foreign talent in to compete with the home grown "talento". I just was of the opinion that it's not really that big of a deal and that its not causing real harm to anyone, that's all. I'm not annoyed and don't feel robbed of my opinion. It's not preventing me from getting on with my life.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Readers, no more bickering please. From here on, posts that do not focus on the story will be removed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Five foreign flicks a week during make-up? That is WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYY too much make-up!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

On this issue, I for once have to agree with the Moderator's post! Though the group seems a commercial venture, I for one am happy for the girls in the singing group and any side work they get to advance what they do and any current success they may achieve! I'm sure that anything good that comes their way makes life for them grand! It doesn't matter if they think watching a film from anywhere is an art film or not! Stop hating and let these young girls live the dream! As far as people becoming "Artist's", that is a matter of opinion! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder! An individual makes decisions for themselves as to what they like or not! If you don't care for a certain piece of art, music or performance, just find something you do like! There are enough cynical critics in this world already!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

AKB48’s Atsuko Maeda, 20, who recently announced that she would be graduating from the megapopular group

Congratulations! You will be joining the wonderful world of "human rights" where we actually let you have the luxury of having a lover! Plus, you may also be able to find a job where your salary is commensurate with the income you bring in.

Serioiusly, if I had any authority in the country, I would have shut AKB down just for human rights violations.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I don't think you need tons of cash, but maybe our financial situations are different. Maybe you prefer (need) to spend you money one way and I another.

Obviously as I would think that buying one or two movies a month would be too expensive - more so if I don't even know if I like the movie as I haven't seen it.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Obviously as I would think that buying one or two movies a month would be too expensive - more so if I don't even know if I like the movie as I haven't seen it.

I don't just pick some random movie and order it on a whim. These are movies that I've read about or heard others talk about that seem interesting to me. If I can't find them at a DVD shop to rent then I might buy them.

Lots of DVDs have special features. BRs (blue rays) especially have a lot. Many times there's way more than 2 hours of stuff on a BR. Sometimes there's 2 or more different commentary tracks, alternate endings, deleted scenes, interviews, etc.

There is also sometimes a variation in what you get depending on which market the DVD is made for. And, sometimes the difference in price or exchange rate actually makes it cheaper to buy from overseas.

I'm pretty sure that most people only go to the show to see movies they want see. They think they'll like it but obvioudly won't really know for sure until they've seen it. Yet many will still pay the 1800 yen or what for the ticket.

Haven't you ever gone to a show and come out disappointed?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I only go to movie on cheap days since the ticket prices are unrealistically expensive here. Which means buying a movie and sending it to Japan is also unrealistically expensive for me. Your suggestion was to buy movies as if that were a normal thing to do for everyone. Of course people are only going to buy movies they're interested in. Why would you buy one or rent one you aren't interested in? What you're failing to understand is that your average person doesn't have the money to just order movies online and have them sent over - it costs way more to do that than head down to your local rental shop and rent one. Which is why people are complaining that the number of foreign movies available here has dropped over the years. People can afford to buy the movie they might like to see that aren't available here.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

I only go to movie on cheap days since the ticket prices are unrealistically expensive here.

The fact that you only go to movies on cheap days seems to be more of a reflection of your own personal financial situation than unrealistically expensive ticket prices. Maybe the only thing that is unrealistic is the expectation that everything here should be the same as it is for you back home. Is it comparatively more expensive to go out for a nice dinner, go see a concert, go to a sporting event here than some other places around the world? Yes, in many cases it probably is. But, this isn't some other place in the world; it's here and that's reality.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Your suggestion was to buy movies as if that were a normal thing to do for everyone. Of course people are only going to buy movies they're interested in. Why would you buy one or rent one you aren't interested in?

My question was directed to one person not all people. But, buying movies is a perfectly normal option available to everyone if they are looking for a movie they can't find here. That doesn't mean they have to go that route. You wrote: I only buy movies I like, not those I only want to watch once. I just simply added that the many people won't know whether they've liked a movie until they actually seen it. So, it doesn't seem any more unusual for a person to buy a movie that they're interested even if they only see once than it is for a person to go see a movie that they're interested and which they'll only go and see once. And as I pointed out, many of these DVDs/BR have loads of special features which is why some people buy them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What you're failing to understand is that your average person doesn't have the money to just order movies online and have them sent over - it costs way more to do that than head down to your local rental shop and rent one. Which is why people are complaining that the number of foreign movies available here has dropped over the years. People can afford to buy the movie they might like to see that aren't available here.

Yes ordering a movie online and having it sent is more expensive than renting from a DVD shop. I'm not failing to understand that at all. The point you seem to be missing is that I wasn't suggesting that be done for every movie. tkoid2 seems to referring to a particular movie or movies. If those movies couldn't be found here then buying them from overseas was just another option to think about. There's also downloading from places like iTunes, etc. There's also asking family or friends to pick up a cheap copy back home. Lots off things to try instead of complaining that your local rental shop doesn't have the movie you want to see. Some people just like to complain especially when it comes to things about Japan.

TSUTAYA is a huge chain. They have lots of movies. They have lots of western movies/tv programs. That number has increased over the years I have been here. They focus on the things they can rent or what's popular so of course they don't have every movie ever made. Neither did rental shops back home when there were still rental shops back home. They also have shops nationwide and an app that you can use to search for movies. If you're local TSUTAYA doesn't have what you want then another might. You can request movies from them online for a fee and have them sent to your house. Or, you could ask your local TSUTAYA to request it for you for a fee. Lots if things you can try.

What you're failing to understand is that It's 2012 and ordering stuff online even from overseas is no longer exclusively for the uber rich. Lots of people do it. Some people order movies, some people clothes, some people electronics, etc. I know somebody who even ordered a bicycle. Most of the people that I know who order from overseas are doing so because it is actually cheaper, especially given the current exchange rate or because it's something that they want that they can't find here. It's just another option for people to use if they want.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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