COMMENTS FROM KCET 2004 SCREENINGS

 

What a beautiful movie.
It's full of passion and reality.
There's love, sadness, joy, beauty....but most of all honesty.
I was hooked. I wished there was more to watch....
It touched me.
--
Rosa

 

i had just seen the movie on KCET i really enjoyed it i also liked the music i was wondering if you can send me the artist album and title of the music that was played in the film i would really appreciate it thank you
--OTGG

 

My emotions welled as I became emersed in your beautiful story.  You are a very talented director.  You've touched my life.  Thank you. 

--Bob

 

i just saw doki-doki on kcet and i loved it!  i don't

remember verbatim, but there was one line that yumi

had said, "...i just want someone to help me get away

from myself" and it was, coincidently, so fitting to

my current life situation.  i can't even begin to

thank you on your selection of music.  i would have

selected the same bands myself. 

--SL

 

hello.

just saw "doki doki" on KCET while flipping channels. i started watching because the story took place in tokyo where i was born and kept on watching because of the story line i could relate to.  ive been living in LA for the past 9 years and havent gone back for the past 4 years, so viewing the film was comforting. 

when the film ended,  i was shocked to see a foreign name for the writer/director credit because i was convinced that the film was written by a japanese film student.  your depiction and characterization of japanese people were so dead on and incrediblly natural not too stereo typical. it is hard to belive that it was written by a person who has only visited there. amazing research

good luck with your future projects and if you would to produce more films on japan/Asia that you would continue to tell stories that reflect the views of the people represeneted or views of them by some foreign eyes like "Lost in Translation," but not stories that reflect stereo typical views.

--Mari

 

Mr. Eska, your film Doki-Doki is brilliant.  I was so captivated by the

characters, especially Yumi Endo.

--Art

 

Happened to be channel-surfing last Saturday night and stumbled across the film on KCET. The film grabbed my attention and stayed on it 'til the end. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

--Ed

 

I was fliping channels one Saturday night and I kept coming back to this film , eventually I ended up watching the rest of it. First of all a very very well done film. I actually felt all the emotions of the character from Yumi ,Yosuke and Makiko. I actually had tears of joy in the end! Wow! wonderfully done! I see great things with you Mr. Chris Eska! Many Blessings - See you in Hollywood someday kid.

--John

 

Hello, Chris. I saw Doki Doki a really long time ago

during a sleepless summer night on PBS. I fell in love

with it and I want my friends to fall in love too. Are

you still offering the DVDs?

Many thanks!

-Matt

 

Hello,

I've never written a fan-letter before. But after watching "Doki Doki" for the fourth time I realized it was unavoidable.  

I'm astounded by the "junsui" nature of the film, the beautiful camera-work and telling gestures. It reminded me of the beauty of Kawabata's palm of the hand stories and the shy altruism of Amelie. Coming from a non-Japanese background but having spent years studying Japanese and living in Japan, your story was a wonder to me. I had thought about filming or writing something similar-a uniquely Japanese story--  but disappointed with existing Western interpretations of Japan ("Audrey Hepburn's Neck" comes to mind) I was hesitant to add my own voice to the tone-deaf throng of chic but "machigatte iru" gaijin attempts at "Japanese" stories.  

To me your film is a true triumph that transcends boundaries of nationality, race, and gender. It is lyrically honest and honestly beautiful. Thank you.

--L

 

Hello Chris,

I am a fan of your film, Doki Doki. I was in my room and couldn't sleep and started flipping through channels and came across Doki Doki on fine cut. I had already missed about five minutes. What made me stay on the channel was the english subtitles and realizing it was a film on Japan. Hungry for anything about Japan I began watching. I was so captivated and moved by the film. By the time it was over I was just starring at the screen. I can honestly say this film was the greatest I have ever seen. The next morning I woke up and wanted to see it again. But I didn't know the title or even the channel it was on, but through some research I found your website and am sending away for a copy soon!! I just wanted you to know I am so thankful for this film. I have fallen in love with the Japanese since I was there. They are so amazing and kind, I am sure you know exactly what I am talking about. Being able to work with them must have been the greatest thing on Earth. Your film has changed my vision on life and realizing life is what you make it and to not let life pass you by. Thanks to you I have found a new love for independent films and thrive for more like yours.

--B

 

Hey Chris, how’s it going?  I don’t usually watch KCET but I somehow happened to flip through it while your film was screened on ‘Fine Cuts.’  I tuned in right about 15 minutes from the end of the movie, and I was almost instantly captured into the film.  I’ve never seen the last 10 minutes of a film and been so moved. 

--David

 

Doki Doki really struck me in a personal way.  I hate to admit that I've
"pulled a Yumi" in the past!  I was so shy and awkward and insecure that I
couldn't just go up to him and say, "Hello"!  Long story short, he was/is
also shy and insecure and liked me too and we had a great relationship that
lasted many years.  Your film really tapped into those feelings of isolation
and that feeling of not being able to connect to another human, despite
every bone in your body wanting to do so.  I can't really put it into words,
but you made me remember that feeling.

Good luck with all of your future work.

-Y.U.

 

Wow!
I was totally blown away by your film: DOKI DOKI. But I want to know, how'd you figure that whole soundtrack. I was really disappointed that there wasn't a movie soundtrack, so I just want to know  if the songlist to it. It was awesome how you used postal service, since it's also used in "
Garden State", there's like this romantic-indie connection to both of the films.
Anyway, thank you for making such a beautiful film. WE LOVE THOSE JAPANESE THEMED FILMS

--P.G.

 

What a wonderful short film! Many times I've thought exactly the same thing... stuck in traffic with all the same people everyday. Makes me frustrated that we see each other and recognize each other and sometimes even wave, but still never get the chance to meet. I enjoyed Eska's film and hope that many others are able to share in its beauty.

--Rich

 

Hey Chris
I saw your film Doki Doki on the UCLA comp DVD and was
really moved. Great work!  You really captured Japan (
I used to live there) -- but also a very universal
truth about people and cycles of life. I'm looking
forward to seeing your first feature. 

--P.H.

 

 

COMMENTS FROM FESTIVAL SCREENINGS

 

Today, I watched Doki Doki at the Vancouver Asian Film Festival, and really enjoyed it.  I would like to see it again, and get a copy to keep.  I tried to look around the internet for information on "the making of" of the film, but couldn't turn up much.  Probably my favourite part of the movie was the choice in music for the film.

--Jason L.

 

Congratulations on your awards for Doki Doki. I discovered finecut by accident and was amazed by the quality and creativity of your project. I'd say that your film is one of my favorites, short or otherwise. Please let me know how I can get a copy of Doki Doki.

Thank you for your time.

--Omar

 

i saw your movie at the TFT film festival 2003... i definitely prefer the short version. but i'm glad to know that the long version proved that i was right - i KNEW she didn't kill herself. there were many an argument after we saw the movie with our friends. haha
thanks a bunch. my boyfriend is very excited to see it again.
--
Virginia

 

 

I really liked your short film.  The music was great, the

lighting was perfect, and setting was nostalgic.  Shooting in Japan must have

been expensive... 

--eric

 

I've been looking for your short film Doki-Doki to show my friend. I saw it awhile ago and thought it was and still is such a beautiful film. Where can I find it? Thank You for making such a thoughtful film. Bye.

--Carla

 

 

COMMENTS FROM KCET FINE-CUT DISCUSSION BOARD 2003

 

Here's one of those standout video shorts that gives us a fascinating take on something as common as the opening scene: a group of commuters who share only the same subway ride into Tokyo each morning. One of the riders' curiosity with who these other fellow commuters might be becomes the focal point of this 33 minute short.
In the last weeks before we edited the Fine Cut series together, Chris Eska, who directed, wrote and produced DOKI DOKI, sent us a
DVD with an alternate ending. The additional 12 minutes was equally as involving as the version you are seeing in the Fine Cut series. In the end, however, we could only choose one version and stayed with the original.
Chris, if you're joining us by internet from
Asia, tell us what it was like to make this project in Japan. Most of the Fine Cut selections were shot within the Los Angeles area (the other exception being "Sin Azul" which you'll see in Show 4.)
Did the story come from something you'd experienced? A secret crush you had on a stranger?  

--finecutep

 

is there a way i can acquire a copy of this short film? i just saw it on kcet tonight and i cant even describe how much i love it. thanks.

--karenkaren

 

It was only by chance this evening that I even flipped my television on. As Fine Cut continued, I chatted with my friends online, not completely watching until Doki Doki came on. I told everyone I knew to get KCET to switch it on and experience.
My friend and I were yelling at each other through Instant Messenger as we were watching Doki Doki. As long-time anime fans, we had already fallen in love with
Japan and had high standards of what we watched about it. It was so romantic, so rivetting, so well done... All I can say is... omedetou gozaimashita! and doumo arigatou gozaimashita for creating this film.

--Songblade

 

Just wanted to thank you for breaking the monotony of late-night channel flipping. I didn't even get to view the whole production, but was in tears at the end and went in and explained the whole story to my fiance, wishing he too could have seen it. If there will be copies to be purchased, or another showing, please post it here and let us know!! It was such a fine blend of art, emotion, and humanity and just thank you again. I'm sure we'll all see more talent to come.  

--Mesanda

 

This film definitely stands out from the other numerous student films I've viewed recently. The storytelling, camerawork, music, visual effects (effective use of color in a B&W film)...everything blends together so well..and the climax that stirs up so much emotion. It was a very satisfying viewing experience. I wonder if there will be a re-run?  

-- bubblegum  

 

I don't have cable so I often find myself watching PBS. Only person in LA without cable. Yippie...I came across finecut and Doki DOki and was mesmerized with your beautiful imagery. Such a wonderful simple story. Really impressed by your female protagonist coming from a male film maker!! The innocence and universal experience captured by the piece made me smile. Great casting, directing,great DP! Great job!! I loved the bubbles. I liked the message...not only can you choose your own destiny but you can make a difference. You never know what's behind the strangers you meet everyday. If we'd only pay attention! Congratulations!
-mamamay  

 

Loved the Film.......the whole story it self about how people now live day by day seeing the same people everyday for a long time, yet they will always be strangers to one another. ....I also love the Black and white format..........I would really wish to get a copy of this film.......  

--Richard

 

This is the first time I post a message so sorry if I sound like a dunce. i just wanted to say how much I loved the short "Doki Doki". I loved the entire thing, the camera work was awesome. This is truly a short film that stands out among the rest. I really enjoyed the film and was hoping that someone might know how to get a copy of the short. If anyone knows, could they please email me at Fender64

-- Cosmicampfire

 

I also loved it it really aplied to my life it was great!

-- tgudina  

 

I enjoyed Doki Doki very much so. The screenplay was very good...the director definitely has talent. And how it all came together in the end was awesome, two- thumbs up!  

-- Dogwood

 

Hi guys. Chris here....I'm currently in Texas, not Japan. I got an email from a friend in Australia this morning saying that someone emailed him about watching Doki-Doki on TV, so I figured I'd check out the website.
Thanks so much for the kind words, and I'm truly happy that you guys enjoyed the film. I'll attempt to answer the questions:
I chose
Japan because of the energy on the streets and trains, and because of the general tendency not to immediatey say what you feel. The idea of repression and release is very cinematic, both with characters' thoughts and with camerawork. And Tokyo/Yokohama is just more suited to that than L.A. I often joke that if I made the film in L.A., it would have been 7 seconds long, not 30 minutes because the guy would have just said, "Hey baby, what's up?" and then we'd roll credits.
I wasn't originally interested in
Japan, thinking it "too western" to warrant a visit while I was travelling around Asia/India for a year, but I met so many cool Japanese backpackers that I decided to visit them and check it out. Anyway, I got the idea from hearing a story about a friend's uncle who finally started chatting up a young woman he rode with every day for years....and they got married. Even just when I'd take the train to visit friends, I'd often notice the same people waiting. I even always waited for the exact train door so I could exit at the next stop directly in front of the escalator.
There are 3 versions of the film, and this is the first time anyone's seen this ending. I usually go with a bittersweet short ending, and I reserve the 45 minute version for cast/crew/friends. I was worried that film-enthusiasts wouldn't like the happy ending with Makiko blowing bubbles on the bridge, but now I'm leaning back toward that ending. It was my original idea to just put something positive out there...
--Chris Eska, director of Doki-Doki

 

Congratulations on a work of pure art. What a positive message about the interaction of people, the study of what they feel, and how we can positively or adversely affect others! It was also beautifully shot and produced. Aesthetically, a great job. Loved the balance of b&w vs. color shots. You employed exactly the right amount of dialogue to effectively tell the story. Most of all, I really cared about what happened to the characters-the ability for characters to become real people worth caring about is the hallmark of fine drama. Well done!

-- columbo99  

 

Out of all of the clips I seen for the past weeks, this was one of my top favorites. I like how it seemed realistic in a way. It has great quality and a great story!  

-- Images14  

 

i saw your film last night on kcet.
it was brilliant! i thought the quote about " controlling your own destiny"
really added the touch to something so rare
that people dont truley believe today.
i have a friend from Yokahama and i really would like to show her the film.
is there some way i can get a copy? i also would like to share it with young people
because it has elements in it that i think young people can relate to. its very encouraging.

--gil

 

i watched your short film on kcet last night and was floored. i tried to tape it all but i ran out of tape like 10 minutes into it. what initially made me start watching it was the fantastic music. i heard the postal service playing and was like huh. i really enjoyed it. yumi reminded me a little of amelie poulain. i sort of had the same experience except the setting was not a train but an elevator. hehsorry for my rant, i just really enjoyed your film. i would be greatly appreciative if i can acquire a copy. thanks so much.

--Debasher

 

Well done, simply brilliant! I loved your film and would dearly love a copy to show my Dean of Department. I also happen to be a sort-of film/animation major at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, in the Digital Media department. I am horrible at expressing the emotions evoked through email and I do not want to come across as... er... stalker-like in my enthusiasm, but I was deeply touched with how you handled the romance while juggling the depression.
If possible, would you please share the alternate endings? I'm quite curious as to what happens to Mahiko (I think that was her name..) after the bubbles.

-- SylverSongblade

 

Hi! I saw Doki Doki the other night and I was completely amazed!  You did an incredible job. It was funny, my friend and I were yelling at eachother over im about things within the sotry (in a good way) throught the whole movie.

I was wondering how I could go about aquiring a copy of this movie. thank you!

--Willis

 

Hey I really enjoyed watching your film ...it was great,, the whole black and

white  format of the movie was great... I don't know Japanesse but I read the

subtitles , but even if it didn't have subtitles I would've still been able

to figure out what the film was about......

Overall Nice film, and I hope there is some way I can get a copy..

--Richard

 

Hey well first of all I would like to congratulate you on such a beautiful film. I, personally have never experience real feelings towards a movie or film, but then again I never really watch movies. But your film just grabed me and i didnt even want to blink because the camera work was superb and i had to read the subtitles. I liked the way you played with the idea of suicide and enjoyed the end. If you could send me a copy of DOKI DOKI i would greatly apreciate it.

--sleeplate

 

I am VERY interested in obtaining a copy of your excellent film, Doki Doki.  I enjoyed it very much and would like to show it off to others. :)  It was truly creative and I liked the way the emotion was in there and without many words to express it.
--messanda

 

There are two things that make me groan regarding today's movies:  the lack of originality, and the miserable endings. Thankfully, yours had neither. You first got me interested in the characters, introduced me to another interesting culture (ie the rail co. sending bills to the relatives of those committing suicide), and didn't break my heart by leaving those characters in a bad way. I applauded at the end, making my wife come out of her office to see what I was applauding for. Thank you for Doki Doki, keep up the excellant work, and I look forward to seeing more of your work in the future.
--David

 

I was lucky enough to be on vacation channel surfing in the LA area when I

caught your film on FineCut. I had to say I was caught watching til the end as I

had to find out what happens. By the end, I was thoroughly satisfied with how

the two ended up fairly happy. It was really nice to see something like this on

television and I wish they would bring this to New York (where I'm from)

television. I went to the message board and found out that it's available on dvd

somehow. I'd like to know where I can get a copy of this as I think I would

enjoy the second viewing a lot. Please let me know. Thanks and congratulations

on a great film.

-- dissnsuks

 

Loved the short subject; it was brilliantly done!.

--Ron

 

I went on the Fine Cut Discussion Board to write replies.  I instantly went to Doki Doki.  It's very . . . emotional?  It's just a great film, I like it a lot .... :-)

-- AngeLighEternyti

 

I really enjoyed your film.  I saw it on Fine Cut.  I really made me

interested in actually pursuing a career in film-making. 

-- iloilo7

 

Last night, I think I saw the greatest piece of film in my life. It was a student film by Chris Eska from the UCLA film academy. The film was called 'Doki-Doki'. It takes place in Japan, where four strangers on the subway finally interact after three years of silent observation. This has been the ONLY film that has emotionally moved me. It was on PBS, so I hope they show it again. The soundtrack was excellent. I was suprised to hear The Postal Service and Sigur Ros during the film. Has anyone else seen it?

--suchgreatheights

 

 

 

 

COMMENTS FROM JAPAN

 

I'm Ms. SEITO, Japanese, age 49.  I teach English at Tokyo University of Science, Suwa (which is a rural area in Nagano Prefecture, 200km away from Tokyo). Our school is located almost in the heart of Japan.

Mrs. Togano, one of my old University friends is in your film as one of a cloud of passengers on the train. Thanks to her, I have come to know of your wonderful prize winning work. It was such a beautiful piece that I decided to show it to my students. Last week I did in my class.  Over 100 of them did see it!  And I asked them to send an e-mail to you.

You would get mails and mails from my TUS sophomores from today on.  If you find some of them stimulating, thought-provoking enough, I'd appreciate your saying hi to them.

Thank you,

--Takako SEITO

 

The movie starts with bubbles and ends with them, too. Death is to

come back bofore birth. All come back to first. These are my the first

impressions.

I am interested in the vision effect like monochrome changes to the

contrast of a light and a dark of the scene. And it is difficult

sometimes to see the scenes because of darkness. But  somehow the

darkness itself makes me feel as if I was in the film.

--Masanori

 

I'm a sophomore at TUS. I saw your "Doki-Doki" in class.  I think

this movie depicts Japanese calture very well. I thought the movie was

created by a Japanese director! I identify myself with the people who are

waiting for the train with the same people at the same hour everyday at the

same station and don't speek to others. I had the experience like this in

my school days.

--Yoshiaki

 

Hi Chris, I'm a sophomore at TUS. I saw your "DOKI DOKI" in class. I am much interested in

this movie. It is one of the greatest among those movies I have ever seen. 

And watching the movie, I felt that something was deeply fascinating to me.

For instance,

first: suprise, the movie shows me something that happens in our own surprisingly familiar back yard.

second: To my knowledge, there is something almost all Japanese experienced in our life which is considered and deeply studied. For example, in train and school life.

third: the movie vividly shows young person's days and mentality under modern social urban pressure.  

Therefore I think as one of Japanese, these things gave great impression and fascination to me.

In my opinion, I think that if we can give happiness to others in the neighborhood, we all would be happy

--Satoru Suyama

 

I`m a sophomore at TUS. I saw your "Doki Doki" in class.

Your story moved me deeply and I was moved to tears.

Because I understand feelings of unrequited.

--from Tadashi

 

I'm a sophomore at TUS. I saw your "Doki-Doki" in class.I

was impressed.Your work showed dreamlike development from the everyday

scenery in a train.I was very impressed.  I have the scene which remain

in my mind.The scene was what Yousuke just rescued Makiko from the

groper. He considers that nobody seems to notice the action. It was

the act which can be very respected as one human being.

--Mitsunori

 

In short version, first, there is everyday scenery.

And Yumi's feeling is true, and Makiko got unhappy.

I think this movie shows two girl's contrastive way of

living in the end.

If Makiko could get happy, like Yumi,

I like it better.

--Yuuiti Sano

 

I'm  sophomore at TUS. I saw your "DOKI DOKI" in class.

Yosuke is kind to other people, and has his own way.

I think people like him are decreasing in today's Japan. 

This film expresses the situation of Japan well.

By the way, I'm really interested in making films.

So may I ask why did you decide to be a director and what is the most impressive films to you.

--Reiko

 

I'm Yuuki Sumizawaa sophomore at TUS.

I saw Doki-Doki in class.

By your use of casual every day life as a subject matter of the movie,

I was able to have a sense of closeness in this movie very much. The

movie was a monochrome screen at first, and  when  the feeling of joy

was expressed you used the movie to make the screen put colors in some

places of a story.$B!!(BIt is very impressive.

--Yuuki