Wednesday March 27, 2013
It’s been a busy couple of weeks for The Surrounding Game documentary team. They launched an online “collaborative game,” premiered an extended preview of the film at last weekend’s well-attended Spring Go Expo in Boston and kicked off a campaign to raise $30,000 to finish their film. Director Will Lockhart is especially excited about the collaborative game, saying that “You can go to the game and vote for your move, and at the end of the day the votes are tallied and one move is played per day! I think it should lead to a very interesting game.” An interesting thing to consider, says Lockhart, is “what level of play is reached when each move is decided by democratic vote?” The fundraiser aims to raise the caliber and potential impact of the The Surrounding Game “by hiring a professional editor and paying for legitimate distribution,” Lockhart explains. With less than a month to go, they’ve raised almost $6,000 thus far; click here to see who’s contributed.
Thursday March 21, 2013
The Walthers brothers are tantalizingly close to raising the $8,000 they need to create a free movie trailer (German Brothers Team Up to Produce “Fascinating” Go Video 2/4/2013 EJ) to inspire more go enthusiasts. Sven Walther, a go player and computer scientist, and his brother Lars, an actor and filmmaker, plan to make the video available on YouTube, so anyone “can use it to promote the game wherever you want.” Their goal “is not to explain the rules, but to create some fascinating atmosphere to represent the game. The novice will see it and say ‘Whoa, what’s that game? Wanna learn more!’” The project will only receive funds if at least $8,000 is raised by Monday, March 25 at 11:59PM PT.
- Annalia Linnan
Thursday March 14, 2013
A go board shows up in New World, the 2013 South Korean noir film written and directed by Park Hoon-jung. Starring Lee Jung-jae, Choi Min-shik and Hwang Jung-min, the film — released just last month — shows the conflict between the police and the mob through the eyes of an undercover cop. Click here to see a trailer.
Thanks to Vincent DiMattia for the tip.
Thursday March 7, 2013
Almost exactly a year since co-directors Will Lockhart and Cole Pruitt decided to shoot a documentary on the game of go — The Surrounding Game — the team is moving into the next phase of the project. “We have come a very long way and the filming itself is almost complete, but we still have a long way to go to get to a finished film” says Lockhart. The team filmed at the 2012 U.S. Go Congress and AGA Pro Tournament last summer, traveled to China and Korea in the fall, and spent the winter organizing their extensive footage. “We’re now launching a second fundraiser to raise money for post-production, including hiring a full-time editor, commissioning original music, and digital mastering of the film,” says Lockhart. A new fundraising goal of $30,000 has been set to reach a final cut of the film.
The new fundraiser begins this Saturday, March 9 and will operate via The Surrounding Game’s brand new website, which also features a recently-released trailer for the film. “We are adding Chinese- and Korean-language options for the site to make the project and fundraiser accessible to an international audience, and we’ll be offering a ton of new rewards which weren’t available the first time around,” says Pruitt. We want “The Surrounding Game” to be as well-produced as it can possibly be, and we hope you’ll share the project with your friends and family and help us reach our goal.” He also noted that last year “we passed our initial goal quickly thanks to a lot of support from EJ readers.”
- screencaps from the latest Surrounding Game trailer
Monday February 18, 2013
“We’ve just put our new extended trailer on YouTube,” reports The Surrounding Game co-director Cole Pruitt. “Plus, thanks to help from several American go contacts, we’re working with the Nihon Ki-in to schedule a trip to Japan sometime later this summer, hopefully to coincide with a big amateur go festival in August. In March, at the Spring Go Expo, we’ll interview a Japanese 4p who will be coming to the US for a month for promotional purposes.”
Sunday February 17, 2013
A new Korean comic book provides a view of Korean corporate life through the eyes of a former go player. In Misaeng, artist/author Yoon Taeho “ describes the claustrophobic interpersonal relations between employees of Korean corporations, focusing on the banality of everyday life and the little struggles and tiny victories of survival in a corporate culture,” writes Emanuel Pastreich on his blog, Korea: Circles and Squares.
“The protagonist of Misaeng is Jang Gurae, a young man who starts out as an apprentice to the national baduk Association. After his father’s sudden death, Jang Gurae finds his family in serious financial straits. When he fails to qualify as a baduk player, he enters the corporate world. Quiet and introspective, baduk is the underlying formula for his survival.” Pastreich calls Misaeng “a remarkable work of art that deserves to be widely read and analyzed.” Unfortunately, it’s currently only available in Korean.
Thanks to Go Game Guru’s David Ormerod for passing this along.
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
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.
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
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.