American Go E-Journal » Go Art

Yasui Santetsu Focus of New Film

Tuesday February 5, 2013

Insight Into the Universe is a new film about Yasui Santetsu, a go player and famous Japanese astronomer, better known as Shibukawa Shunkai. The creator of the Japanese Jokyo calendar and the author of many books about astronomy, he also played with his friend and rival, Honinbo Dosaku, in the “castle games.” The famous game between Dosaku and Santetsu, where Santetsu opened on tengen, is depicted in the 2012 film, which was directed by Yojiro Takita and stars Junichi Okada, a Japanese actor, singer, and member of the pop group V6. The heroine in the film, played by Miyazaki Aoi, works at a shrine which still exists today; click here to see Cho U 9p dedicating some of his famous go problems to that shrine. An English-subtitled version of the film does not appear to be available at this time.
- thanks to Go Game Guru

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German Brothers Team Up to Produce “Fascinating” Go Video

Monday February 4, 2013

Two German brothers are collaborating to create a free movie trailer to spread the game of go.  Sven Walther is a go player and computer scientist, while his brother Lars is an actor and filmmaker. Sven says he’s driven to “inspire people with interesting stuff” while Lars is “wowed by the stories and the drama in a game that appears to be so simple.” The brothers have teamed up to crowd-source $8,000 “to make a short video clip, like a movie trailer, to promote the game of go.” Rather than explaining the rules of the game, the Walthers intend to work with real actors and real movie people to create a professional clip that will create a “fascinating atmosphere to represent the game. The novice will see it and say ‘Whoa, what’s that game? Wanna learn more!’” They’ll make the video available on YouTube, so anyone “can use it to promote the game wherever you want.” With 50 days to go, the duo has already raised just over $2,200 in pledges. With several other professionally-produced shorts – the romantic French go video The Album Leaf Within Dreams (Go Art: Romantic Go Video 12/3/2012 EJ) and the 2012 European Women’s Goe Championship promo (The Red Dress Tesuji 8/26/2012 EJ) – already available, and the feature-length documentary The Surrounding Game now in production, a critical mass of go videos seems to be building.

 

 

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Historic 1982 Go Pic Available on DVD

Sunday December 16, 2012

In 1982, a historic film appeared, the first ever co-produced between the Chinese and Japanese film industries. Mikan no Taikyoku, released in 1982 with English subtitles as The Go Masters, explores the impact of world events in the mid-20th century when a Chinese prodigy’s father sends him to Japan. This is NOT the 2006 Go Seigen biopic The Go Master. In fact the current release is entitled “An Unfinished Chess (sic) Game,” which is actually closer to the original title (except for the chess part.) Critics hailed the 1982 film at the time as “an Asian Gone With the Wind,” and it won first prize at The Montreal Film Festival. Then, oddly, it faded into obscurity, but at least one fan never forgot. Yellow Mountain Imports proprietor Pong Yen writes, “I saw this movie a long time ago and have always wanted to carry it . . . After some searching around I was able to find the Chinese distributor.” YMI seems to have an exclusive on the DVD, at least in English. Kudos to Pong Yen for tracking it down. It’s not HD, and the subtitles are a little dark, but if you are a go player who appreciates Asian films, you are in for a treat.
- Roy Laird

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Go Art: Romantic Go Video

Monday December 3, 2012

While researching our recent story on go in Brazil (New Sao Paolo Go Club Opens with Style 11/25/2012 EJ), we came across a terrific romantic French go video, The Album Leaf Within Dreams, posted on Insei Brazil’s website. The wordless 6:36 minute video, made by Pierre Bellanger (DJPeter 3d KGS) for a class at the University of Montpellier Paul Valéry in France, beautifully shows the seductiveness of the game of go through the attraction of a soccer-playing boy to a studious female go player. Be sure to watch it all the way through to a perfect ending that could have been scripted by Nakayama Noriyuki.

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Go Art: “The Hedgehog” Now Available Online

Wednesday November 28, 2012

The Hedgehog (Le Hérisson), the French film based on Muriel Barbery’s’ novel The Elegance of the Hedgehog (GO SPOTTING: The Elegance of the Hedgehog 5/4/2010 and The Return of the Elegant Hedgehog 10/24/2010) is now available on Netflix for instant play. As in the novel, the main character is a precocious 12-year-old girl who comments acerbically about the adults around her and knows more about go than the father of a friend who is making a movie of The Girl Who Played Go. As Terry Benson noted in our previous report, “She uses go as a philosophic metaphor, saying that ‘One of the most extraordinary aspects of the game of go is that it has been proven that in order to win, you must live, but you must also allow the other player to live. Players who are too greedy will lose: it is a subtle game of equilibrium, where you have to get ahead without crushing the other player. In the end, life and death are only the consequences of how well or how poorly you have made your construction. This is what one of Taniguchi’s characters says: you live, you die, these are consequences . It’s a proverb for playing go, and for life.’” This dialogue is retained almost verbatim in the film.

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Go Spotting: Girl vs. Monster; Xbox LIVE’s Path of Go; Tenjou Tenge

Saturday November 10, 2012

Girl vs. Monster: Go makes an appearance in the new Disney channel movie “Girl vs. Monster”, reports Tyler Keithley. If anyone’s got more details and/or stills, send ‘em to us at journal@usgo.org

Xbox LIVE’s Path of Go: Shawn Ray from Tennessee recently discovered Xbox LIVE’s go arcade game The Path of Go. Ray notes that “My mother, who is not even a go player, said ‘You know go is getting popular when it is on the X-Box.’” He says the game is “unique and fun,” adding that “the graphics are very well done and the board and stones are beautiful and portrayed in a way that you feel like you are playing with the go stones from ancient times.” In addition to useful beginner-level problems, Ray says there’s “a nice little story line with an interesting twist at the end.” He adds that “While most players who are well versed in the game might find the first few chapters boring and easy, it is worth it once you reach the later stages in order to find out what happens. Also the final boss is not so easy, as I am a 4d and it still took me a couple tries to beat him since we are playing on a 9×9 which forces me to come up with new strategies as I can’t us my normal joseki/fuseki ideas on a smaller board.” Ray has a few minor technical complaints but his main problem is that “since the game is not yet popular, I am finding it very difficult to find an opponent on X-Box Live. Hope we can spread the word and get more go players online!”
See Xbox’s Path of Go The New Hikaru No Go? for our original report in the January 10, 2011 EJ.

Tenjou Tenge: Taylor Litteral spotted a go board in Episode 26 of the anime Tenjou Tenge (at 7:40). The anime is based on the Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Oh! great, which primarily focuses on the members of the Juken Club and their opposition, the Executive Council, which is the ruling student body of a high school that educates its students in the art of combat. As the story unfolds, both groups become increasingly involved with an ongoing battle that has been left unresolved for four hundred years.

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Go Spotting: Hidden Treasure

Wednesday October 31, 2012

A go board is one of the treasures available for players to dig up in The Legend of the Golden Robot game on Kongregate. Thanks to EJ reader Corey McQuarters for passing this along!

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Tesuji, Maybe

Monday October 29, 2012

One of the hits at this year’s U.S. Go Congress banquet was the performance of “Tesuji, Maybe” by Karoline Li and Samantha Fede. Sung to the tune of Carly Rae Jepsen’s big hit ‘Call Me Maybe’ with new lyrics by Todd Blatt, the song was one of the winners of the 2012 US Go Congress Song and Poetry Competition. The sound is a bit low, so be sure to turn it up. Video shot by Nikolos Gonzales.

 

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Go Spotting: Go Gangnam Style

Monday October 8, 2012

Go seems to make an appearance in the “Gangnam Style” video, which has racked up over 28 million hits on YouTube since its release last summer, inspiring parody clips from all corners of the globe. At .52 in the video there’s a 2-second glimpse of two game players behind South Korean singer and rapper PSY; several EJ readers have suggested that it’s go but it’s hard to tell for sure, even on close inspection. However, given go’s huge popularity in Korea, and PSY’s (born Park Jae-sang) attendance at  Boston University and Berklee College of Music in Boston – home to a longtime go club – the appearance of the game is probably not that far-fetched.

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Go Spotting: Jorge Luis Borges on “the astrological game of Go”

Monday October 1, 2012

Wayne Nelson has just sent us a translation of Jorge Luis Borges’ wonderful poem about go. We’ve run it before but it’s so lovely that, like all great poetry, it bears repetition. Other than this poem, we don’t know anything about Borges’ connection to go, e.g. where he learned, whether he attended a club, or if he mentions it in other writings; if anyone has information along these lines, please send it to us at journal@usgo.org.

Go
Today, the 9th of September 1978,
I had in the palm of my hand a small disk
of the 361 that are required
for the astrological game of Go,
that other chess of the Orient.
It is more ancient than the most ancient writing
and the board is a map of the universe.
Its black and white variations
exhaust time.
In it men can lose themselves
as in love and in the day.
Today, the 9th of September 1978,
I, who am ignorant of so many things,
know that I am ignorant of one more,
and I thank my Muses for
this revelation of a labyrinth
that never will be mine.
- by Jorge Luis Borges; translated by Wayne Nelson

El Go
Hoy, 9 de septiembre de 1978,
tuve en la palma de la mano un pequeño disco
de los trescientos sesenta y uno que se requieren
para el juego astrológico del go,
ese otro ajedrez del Oriente.
Es más antiguo que la más antigua escritura
y el tablero es un mapa del universo.
Sus variaciones negras y blancas
agotarán el tiempo.
En él pueden perderse los hombres
como en el amor y en el día.
Hoy, 9 de septiembre de 1978,
yo, que soy ignorante de tantas cosas,
sé que ignoro una más,
y agradezco a mis númenes.
esta revelación de un laberinto
que nunca será mío.
- photo by Martin Chrz

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