Dr. NakaMats rockz!

by deborah on 03/9/2010

I’m not counting anymore how many films I watch during festivals, especially because I like them both, long and short films. Now, when ZagrebDox is behind me, I can start with my fresh documentary coverage for this season…

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The first screenings I took part were by pure coincidence films from the section Happy Dox. Documentary film The Invention of Dr. Nakamats covers the story about the Japanese inventor Yoshito Nakamatsu, a cult figure in Japan and the Nobel Prize winner for nutrition. Nakamats is a holder of more then 3300 patents, certainly holding for that the world record, too.

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He’s 80 years old and according to his intentions, Nakamats plans to live till he’s 144 years old. He’s the inventor of the very first floppy disk (IBM can hide, it’s was years before they offered the floppy), the water-powered bike taxi, a motor that is run by light photons, underwater notebook and pencil, female Viagra Love Jet, super bra pre-sewed in garment, karaoke machine, ‘PyonPyon’ sprint shoes and many, many more lucid things…

Director Kaspar Astrup Schröder is known for his fascination with Japan, therefore the task to shot an objective documentary about one of the most famous icons in Japan certainly wasn’t the easiest one a documentary filmmaker could wish. No doubt that Yoshuke Nakamatsu is a person of strong individuality being totally devoted to his achievements and also on his image making.

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Schröder has made the film in 29 days covering not only Nakamats’ social and business appearance but private life, including the celebration of his 80th birthday and stories on his family connections.

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According to the filmmaker’s statement he has contacted Dr. Nakamats via e-mail that he previously found on his website and got an immediate respond from him. He wanted to make a film in the manner of ‘proverbial fly on the wall’ as documentary film makers like to describe their technique, but when he has had arrived in Tokyo during their first encounter, Nakamats has showed him his plan for the film on 130 pages…

Nevertheless, Nakamats is indeed an unusual and lucid personality. His creativity and the process of work are rather interesting. Namely, Nakamats combine listening to music (not something unusual, right?!) and underwater diving. What is unusual in his ‘diving processes’ is the fact that he uses technique of extreme pushing of the boundaries of his brain capability.

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It’s already known in medicine that the biggest brain activities are happening just few seconds before the brain is loosing the oxygen, or less prosaically spoken, before someone dies. Although a risky one, Nakamats has decided to accept naturally this fact that the best ideas are coming out of his brain while he is underwater. Of course, he needed a tool for making sketches and notes for such task, so he has decided to invent water resist notebook and pencil just for this.

According to the Newsweek Magazine he’s one of the most expensive lecturers in the world. I have to mark here that all participants of his lectures very often have to sing karaoke jointly with Dr. Nakamats… Songs he has composed about his life being displayed on screen via Powerpoint.

Dr. Nakamats is indeed an unique human being… I had a smile on my face all the time during the screening and few hours after… an echo…

Dr. NakaMats rockz!

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Kaspar Astrup Schröder is born 1979, Denmark. Self-taught visual artist and designer. Founded the company Kaspar in 2004. Though based in Copenhagen, he often works in Asia. Has exhibited visual work and released music all over the world. His documentary film ‘City Surfers’ (2007) won Best Danish Film and Filmic Award at the DAFF Festival. (Schröder’s bio taken from ZagrebDox)

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´I’m attracted to documentaries because of the element of spontaneity – my art and my music are largely improvisational. This film, however, was more about framing and staging, and that was an exciting and very different process for me.´

K.A.S.