The AK100 project now seems to have an international website called AK100 World Tour. I must say that I am not fully certain how I personally feel about it. In fact, some of it looks like a very bad joke. Which it might be. But probably isn’t.
In any case, the website confirms that there is a travelling exhibition that will tour the world and will include film screenings, an exhibition of Kurosawa’s belongings and memorabilia, a photo exhibition and potential other events such a lectures and concerts. The “tour” will begin in Paris in March next year, and will finish in Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto at the end of 2010. Other cities tentatively announced on the website are Rome, Salzburg, Madrid, Warsaw, Munich, London, New York, Brasilia, Buenos Aires, Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, Taipei, Hong Kong and Dubai. Other cities in Europe and East Asia are apparently still being considered.
So far, so good.
Now, the official visual designer of the events is no one else but Jean Giraud, better known as Moebius. While I personally find Giraud’s work very interesting, I am not sure if he is the right person for a project like AK100. To realise that you only need to look at the official AK100 World Tour poster, displayed above. A war-like Akira Kurosawa holding what looks like a semi-automated hand-held camera-weapon, while sitting on top of a pile of tentacles (!!) just seems to have absolutely nothing to do with the Kurosawa whose films I have been watching.
And then there is the official theme song (what is this, anyway — a rock tour?). I really don’t know how to describe my response to the song chosen, so just take a listen yourself: Hide – Misery.
Something that also worries me is the mention that the screenings of Kurosawa’s movies will be “visually enhanced and re-released”. Considering that Giraud and Hide were chosen to be the artistic face of the tour, will we now be getting CGI space monkeys and heavy metal soundtracks on Kurosawa’s movies?
To me, the people in charge of the project seem to be making all the wrong choices. They also seem not to be ready to pay for someone who actually writes proper English. While I am not one to criticise any individual for language mistakes — not least because English is not my native tongue, either — I think it shows something about the project and the people behind it if even the promotional material hasn’t been considered important enough to go through a native speaker.
Sorry about the rant. Just, the more I read about the AK100 project, the more I wish it would never actually happen.