JAPAN Publications / index / New Asian Currents

A Port in Vain

Director, Script, Photography, Editing, Music, Sound:
Yamazaki Mikio
Cast: Ito Kahori, Yamazaki Mikio
Source: Yamazaki Mikio
4-27-12 Kumegawa-cho, Higashimurayama-shi, Tokyo 189-0003
Phone & Fax: 81-423-93-0319
JAPAN / 1996 / Japanese / B/W, Color / 8mm / 80 min

Yamazaki Mikio

Born in Tokyo in 1959. Began playing around with an 8mm camera in middle school. Won the Fuji 8mm Film Contest with The Happy Days of M ("M-kun no shiawasena hibi") which he made while studying cultural anthropology at Hokkaido University. Has directed over fifty films including Memory of Seaside (1982), Ghostown at Dawn (1983), Guiding Star (1987), The Cat Night (1992), Pu (1994). Publications include A Contextual Analysis of Canned Coffee and The Whereabouts of a Hero.


This Japanese 8mm work opens under the guise of a personal documentary, as the filmmaker tries to unravel the mystery of a woman he had met through a dating club. The film begins to take its own course as the narrative catches momentum. The unpredictable climax is fascinating.

Director's Statement

8mm films are an extremely personal medium of expression. No matter how fictional a film you make, a personal touch always makes its way into the edges of the screen and adds the flavor to a film. Yes, I suppose you could call this a documentary. I made films in this personal way in the embrace of the film goddess who visited my four and a half mat room. One evening I thought to myself I shouldn't be doing this. I was merely falling into the dead-end trap of the I-novel. I then realized it might be possible to make a film that instead of just focusing on myself would, in surpassing me, be something the audience would appreciate and in doing so liberate myself. A Port in Vain is the product of this effort.


Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Organizing Committee