YIDFF 2015

Once again a fabulous few days at the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival. Highlights this year were undoubtedly the three-part Battle of Chile, closely followed by the 16mm films shot for the Palestinian solidarity movement in Japan and the talk by Adachi Masao afterwards. As Lebanon and Chile feature in my Global Issues Through Music course, this was a great chance to see the full versions of footage I’d seen crop up piecemeal in various documentaries, such as Ken Loach’s Chilean section of the 9.11 film.

It wasn’t all cinema, though. After the screening of Good Bye Schloendorff with live accompaniment by Wael Koudaih aka Rayess Bek, Yann Pittard and Maki Nakano, we were treated to a mini concert of music ranging from Turkey and Lebanon to Bretagne. We also managed an afternoon trip to nearby Yamadera for some hiking and soba (sorry Naoki if you’re reading this!).

Roll on YIDFF 2017.

Long, hot summer

In the dog days of the summer now … great to catch up with some old friends in the past month, including one I hadn’t seen for over ten years, and make some new ones.

Trying to get some reading done in our new house but distracted by the usual work/non work-related stuff. Research projects have all but stalled, but need to get back to writing soon before term starts.

And before netflix hits Japan …

Mystery Birthday cake

Many thanks to the kind unknown person who left a beautiful birthday cake in my mailbox in the staffroom!

New Year’s Day

o-sechi, sake and a Suzuki Seijun marathon planned for the evening … what could possibly go wrong?

New Year’s resolutions

Write more, read more … and upgrade my work bag. I got five years out of my Middelburg conference bag, so hopefully I’ll be using the Heidelberg one as long.

“J” is for Jazz

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Flicker shows her approval of Moomba Jazz ’76

AILA 2014

Just back from Brisbane, where I attended the International association of Applied Linguistics conference.

I don’t think I’ve been to an event on this scale since the MLA in Chicago, and AILA was not only well-organised, but a friendly and rewarding experience. Although I was disappointed in some of the keynote speakers and main sessions, the overall standard of the individual presentations I attended was exceptionally high. With applied linguistics covering such a broad range of research it was a great opportunity to see lots of different approaches to looking at language.

The session I took part in began with a talk by Nicola Galloway from Edinburgh University, and I highly recommend anyone who can make it to go and see her present at Sophia University on September 1st.