President Suwa

I was having lunch today with Kanai Katsu, and mentioned that I was going to the National Film Center to see Hanasareru Gang, a film that Suwa Nobuhiro, the director of such films as Duo, M/Other, and H-Story, had made in 1984 when he was still a student. The NFC is now doing a retrospective of the Pia Film Festival and is showing many of the award-winning 8mm films of directors who are now prominent in the film scene, such as Ishii Sogo, Nagasaki Shun'ichi, Ogata Akira, Inudo Isshin, Shiota Akihiko, etc. Well, when I mentioned that, Kanai-san said that he had taught Suwa-san when he was a student at Tokyo Zokei University, and that Suwa-san had recently become president of that university. 

"What?" I said, not believing my ears. A filmmaker just a bit older than me who is now president of one of the major arts universities in Japan? I remember having Suwa-san come to my class when I taught at Yokohama National University and comment on how hard it was to make a career out of making difficult films.

But when I checked the Zokei site, there he was. Even though he only started teaching there in 2002, he became president of the university on April 1, 2008. Speed shusshin!

Suwa-gakucho, omedeto gozaimasu.

By the way, Hanasareru Gang was quite fun: a lot of Godard, but also a lot of elements you later see in Duo

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