2005 Melbourne International Film Festival : Arakimentari (2004)

22nd July 2005

Director: Travis Klose
Featuring: Araki, Bjork, Takeshi Kitano

Tagline: Araki is my hero!

This documentary originally interested me as I have a strong interest in photography and remember looking through a copy of Araki’s ‘Tokyo Lucky Hole’ once in a photography bookstore and I wanted to find out more about the photographer.

He turned out to be nothing like I had been expecting, from the first time you see him in the film he is very mischievous, hyperactive and is always chuckling to himself.

The reason we find out is that he is doing what he loves. He has also published over 350 books of his own photography, he doesn’t really see it as work as he is doing it all the time and gets so much enjoyment out of it.

I thought the footage of the photo shoots with Araki was excellent as it showed how excited he gets when shooting. It was also amazing to see how well her worked with the models and that they were so comfortable with him that they would let him re-arrange their pubic hair with his hand to get a better shot.

During the course of the film other photographers and celebrities such as Bjork and Takeshi Kitano comment on his work, but I thought the movie slowed down whenever Araki wasn’t on screen as it was just talking heads.

I also enjoyed how the film’s creators managed to get around the problem of showing a lot of photos and covers of books by having such a great soundtrack. I have heard of DJ Krush before, but I haven’t listened to his music. After hearing the work he did for this film, I would be willing to give him a try.

There are a lot of pornographic photos that are part of Araki’s work that are shown, but as he doesn’t make any distinction between a shoot for a porn magazine and his own personal artistic work, it was important to show all aspects of his career.

Rating: 8/10