Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Second Moon out on DVD

Finally the movie SECOND MOON went on sale as of May 3, 2011 from Celebrity Video Distribution. It’s available through most major DVD carrier’s websites. (such as Amazon.com or Borders.com or Target.com and many more) But you will need to do an “Art of Love DVD Sugano” for correct search.

BUT it’s no longer called Second Moon. Its new title is ART OF LOVE. Yes, it had a rebirth like a phoenix and now is ready to sour to the sky!

Please help spread the word and help make the sales!! It is currently ranked #57,523 on Amazon.com and that is a bit embarrassing.

Here is the new official movie website. Please Facebook, Tweet or blog about it in your community. It will not go anywhere without your help: www.ArtOfLoveMovie.com

Thank you for your involvement in this project. I hope this film has given you some memorable and educational experience. And I hope you’re in a much better place in your career now. I will continue to make films and hopefully our path will cross again someday. Please stay in touch.

It’s been six long years since the production. Now I am married, have been blessed with two wonderful daughters, and find myself somehow living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I’m planning to shoot a feature or two while I’m here. Please go to the website and sign up to join my film group.

Thank you and good luck to you all.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Yarning for Love in Gstaad Switzerland

I am off to Gstaad, Switzerland to screen my short film "Yarning for Love." It's pretty amazing that the international debut for this little short, which I shot and wrote all in a day, is being screened in the same city that Roman Polanski currently resides under house arrest. What a small world! The film is up for a golden cow award, so fingers crossed that we come out of this with a little bit of cash. After Gstaad I am off to Berlin.

Second Moon in Buenos Aires

Argentina here we come!!!!!!

April 7 - 18, 2010
12th Annual Buenos Aires International Film Festival

Second Moon in Singapore

We have never given up on our film and it looks like there are people
all around the world who want to screen our film.

April 15-24, 2010
23rd Singapore International Film Festival

Monday, March 01, 2010

Second Moon at Depaul University

Thurs MARCH 4, 2010
at 6:00pm

Screening and Q&A with Director MASAHIRO SUGANO

DePaul University Lincoln Park Campus
John T. Richardson Library Rm. 400
2350 N. Kenmore Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614

This event is free and open to the public
Co-sponsored by Japanese Studies

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

SECOND MOON at Philly Asian American Film Festival

Yes folks - we are finally heading East!!!
Yep - it's our East Coast Premiere and we're thrilled that we got into the Festival. Masahiro Sugano will be present for a discussion after the screening.

Screening details:
Saturday October 10, 2009
Ibrahim Theater of The International House
3701 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3195
(215) 387-5125

Tickets: $6 students/seniors; $8 general admission

*Let's fill up the seats!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Malcolm X College presents SECOND MOON

Malcolm X College Diversity Committee
with the assistance of the Office of the Vice President
the Communication and Fin
e Arts Department
Asian American Heritage Month with readings and film screenings:
Wed. April 29, 2009
2-5pm Screening of SECOND MOON
followed by Q&A and discussion
with filmmaker Masahiro Sugano

Malcolm X College
Cultural Center
1900 W. Van Buren
Chicago, IL 60612

May 1, 2009

Masahiro's thoughts on the event:

It was not widely circulated, but there was a special screening of Second Moon at Malcolm X College in late April. It was part of the series of events held during the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month that was sponsored by Cultural Diversity Committee of Malcolm X College.

The screening facility was awful. It was actually non-existent. The film was screened at a space by the entrance lobby where you could look over the freeway 290. There was much foot traffic that was heading back and for classes. It was projected from a laptop as part of monitor projection onto a portable screen on a tripod, which was tilted by about 5 annoying degrees. The speakers that came on the cart were probably big enough to resound through an apartment kitchen. The screening space was a wide open lobby. So the sound was virtually inaudible during the first 30 minutes of the screening. It was by far the worst screening experience I've ever had.

I do not consider myself a sensitive type when it comes to the method of presenting my film. I mean, it's not like theater, so I would rather not impose any standards in appreciating my film to the audience or the hosting party. The only thing I would ask is the best intention. But this event really gave me a wake-up call. I need to look out for my own film. If I did not, nobody will. This was a horrendous injustice, despite all the good wills of the people who made the event possible, to my film, my audience and myself as a director. I never felt lower during the course of Second Moon production. This screening event was supposed to mark the relaunching of Second Moon. It was supposed to be a booster. I wanted to cry but I was too dumb struck. I wanted to walk out but that felt whimpish and it would have solved nothing. I lost a sense of pride. I wondered what the hell I got myself involved. I realized I betrayed my film.

The screening was interrupted at around 30 minutes point and a tech person showed up to reconnect the audio line to a bigger speaker. This was one of those mono speakers that would usually get put up during a speech event. So it was one big speaker, not two. I was just so happy to finally be able to hear the words, I could not careless whether the sound splits to left and right. "So what did we miss?" asked one of the students druing the interruption. I could not believe myself but I knew it was necessary so I recapped what went on during the first 30 minutes of the film.

The saving grace of this experience was the Q&A at the end of the screeningafter two thirds of the people walked out to go to class or home. Well, let's not make it a secret. This was a new version I screened at Malcolm X. Yes, after two years of getting series of refusals from all kinds of film festivals, I went back to re-editing the film. So this was the first time I was showing this new version. I made that known during the opening intro, and asked the students to give me critical feedbacks. The students who stuck around really watched the film and gave me a long and enthusiastic feedback. This was a refreshing experience. Most Q&As at filmfestivals consist of general questions, half of them are lame and the other half are philosophical. This crowd was different. These kids were pointing out for me what worked and what didn't in the narrative. It was very straight forward and unpretentious. I was actually quite humbled by their analysis. There was one young lady who insisted that I bring back all the background stories for Bom, which got cut out tremendously since the first rought cut almost 3 years ago. Bom in the original script had a murderous intention against Don Jim from the get-go. It was also made clear that Q and Bom used to hang out in old days, and that Q was unknowingly recruited into Bom's conspiracy to achieve Bom's goal of taking down the Art of Love organization. Anyway, the young lady wanted all that back and her conviction really shook up my conviction about the editing decisions I had made, which eventually lead to a sit-down session with my producer (Sanghoon) and marketing rep (my wife), during which I was chastized for being indecisive.?Anyway, it was inspiring to get instructoins from the audience directly as to how to make improvements on my film. If not the acutal advice, I took in a sense of immediacy about the audience.?Films are made to be watched by the audience. It was refreshing to be reminded of the most simple fact about movies.?At the end of the sit-down session with my committee, Bom's background stories were decided to remian out of the narrative, by the way. And I think it's better that way. I swear.

The experience at Malcolm X College started out like hell and it ended up being quite inspiring. I sincerely want to thank the students who stuck around to tell me what they really thought about the film. I hope you will be proud of this film when we finally put it out to the real world.

Monday, June 11, 2007

TV Appearance on Chicago Tonight

Jennifer and I have a conversation with Phil Ponce on Chicago Tonight!
Watch the interview here.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Chicago Tribune gives us 3 Stars!!!

Take that Ocean's Thirteen!!! They only got 1.5 stars and we scored a whopping 3 stars from Tribune writer Michael Phillips. So folks come out and see Second Moon at the Film Center this weekend! This is also the second time I got compared to Tarantino. We all know he borrowed his skills from Asian folks! After all he is from Torrance.

Here's what the Chicago Tribune said:
Shot in Chicago, writer-director-editor Sugano’s stylish oddity plays like someone in the projection booth mistakenly ran simultaneous prints of films by Wong Kar-wai, Quentin Tarantino and Hal Hartley. Andre Ing portrays Q, an agent of a shadowy organizations called Art of Love, which encourages free and open sexual relationships and demands of its staff only that they never, ever let a woman sleep over. Or cook for them. Then Q meets M (Jennifer Shin), a Korean national whose old school subservience makes Q rethink his modus operandi. It’s a bit coy, but Sugano and cinematographer James B. Heck have a gift for composition and color. And Shin is very good.

Friday, May 25, 2007

2 More Chicago Screenings at Fim Center

Our thanks to the Gene Siskel Film Center!
Be sure to catch the screenings:
Saturday, June 9 @8pm
Tuesday, June 12@8pm

Check out what they wrote about the film:
Boasting a dash of Tarantino verve and a heaping helping of Chicago filmmaker Sugano’s (HISAO, SUPER KAMADA) dry humor, SECOND MOON is shot entirely in Chicago with a cast of homegrown actors. Dubbed a “neo-Yakuza romantic farce” by the director, this debut feature follows the increasingly absurd adventures of Q (Ing), an agent for “Art of Love,” a clandestine organization that contracts adulterous trysts for lovelorn suburban housewives. Requests from the many turnaways at the film’s sold-out screening in April prompted this encore engagement.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Back by Popular Demand!

Thank you everyone! Looks like all your phone calls and emails worked because the Film Center is going to give Second Moon another 2 screenings in June!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Reflections on the Chicago Asian American Showcase

The Chicago Asian American Showcase and I go long way. We have had a relationship since my first student film "Hisao". They took me under their wings ever since and screened pretty much all of my films. They've been a great support. So this has been especially a great honor for me to present Second Moon as part of FAAIM for its U.S. premiere. During one of their earlier festivals in the 90s, I had a chance to watch a feature that was directed by this Japanese guy who came to the states as a student, just like me. It was a piece of crap. Back in those days, there were many bad features made by Asian Americans. Judging from the programs of recent festivals, I can really say we have come a long way. I remember thinking, while having a very pleasant conversation with this Japanese director after the screening, how I could kick his ass any time and how he was insulting my art. I couldn't wait to show to the world how much better my feature would be compared to his piece of crap. Now that I did finish my first feature, I am scared if I did the right thing. After the screening during the Q&A, I caught myself thinking, my goodness, I hope I did not inspire younger Asian artists and filmmakers in the same way. Arrogance has a way of catching up with people, you know. But honestly, I would rather present my film to a generation of younger Asian American filmmakers who think they can kick my ass anytime, and can't wait to prove it. That's how we get better as a whole. I truly believe it.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Second Moon Rising

Giles Morris does a little write up about Second Moon on his blog.

I had forgotten that he interviewed me for this write up. He had asked my why I wanted to do a "serious farce." I had forgotten I had said the following:

I'm a very serious guy and sometimes it makes people crack up. The more serious something is, the more tragic, the more funny it has to be. I didn't study how to make farce, I just thought about it in terms of the rhythm and pacing of the movie. You do a serious scene, then you need a funny one, something with out of nowhere humor. It's a reflection of how I am.

Other highlights from his write up include:

Perhaps the greatest success of his film is that it creates a lush and coherent visual language that is its own, but Kubrick's influence is clear enough in the slow, uneasy pacing, the way sound and vision heighten the character drama so that the audience feels the rank tension of cheating in their shoulders.

The real miracle of Second Moon is that it is at one time incredibly thought provoking and also ridiculous. It is absurd and also conventional.

A pretty good review if you ask me. Read the full review here.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Chicago Premiere: April 4, 2007 at Gene Siskel Film Center

Finally...the day chicagoan's have been waiting for. Come and check out Second Moon's hometown debut: Wednesday April 4, 2007. We are on at 7:45pm after Justin Lin's new feature: Finishing the Game. Tell your mama and your papa and their mamas and papas and other next of kin.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Chicago Premiere!

Our hometown debut and we can wait to share it with all the Chicagoans that have put a lot of work, dedication, and support behind this film. We are part of the 2007 Asian American Showcase. Thanks Tim for believing in our little film!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Energy of Pusan

I grew up in Japan. Pusan gave me a sense of nostalgia I did not expect from a country I had never visited. Some organizer told us that, during those two weeks of festival, all the bath houses in Pusan get so packed with college students you had no room to walk in the changing room. They sleep there. They come from all over the country? to watch the films, meet the filmmakers and actors. I talked with a few of them after the screening, and I learned that each of them had something very important to tell me about my film. These were no passive observers. They took ownership on their own cinema experience and shared it with you with pride. Filmmakers and the audience were equal partners. The festival felt big and important, but the energy was definitely coming from the regular Korean folks who just loved the films.?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Second Moon: Critic's Choice at Pusan International Film Festival

Anyone who reads Korean...let us know if the translation is correct! Hopefully, the audience here in Pusan will enjoy this screening.

34 hours...Pusan...finally!

Okay...it didn't take me 34 hours to get here, but it felt like it. We arrived in Pusan, Korea on October 13th, 2006. Our world premiere is on Sunday the 15th. The flight was quite draining. But I met an Icelandic filmmaker who endured a 34 hours of trip to get here, so it could've been worse. Pusan is just like Japan with an exception of whole a lot of writings I cannot read.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Our World Premiere: 11th Annual Pusan International Film Festival

This is it! Our film's world premiere and Second Moon makes it into the selection for Critic's Choice at the 11th Annual Pusan International Film Festival. My producer Sanghoon Lee is amazing! I'm going to take him with me and make him pay for our plane tix too! Get ready world...this is Asia's largest film industry event!

Monday, November 28, 2005

First whispers of Second Moon

Read the first writings on reelchicago.com about my first feature: Second Moon.