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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Art > Counterculture > Asian > Arakimentari (Documentary)

Arakimentari (DTS/2004)


Picture: B-     Sound: B+     Extras: B     Film: B+



Travis Klose’s Arakimentari (2004) is a mind trip of beautiful photography, artwork, and naked women.  For those of you who don’t know who Nobuyoshi Araki is then you’re about to – he is the most published photographer in the world.  He has released more than three hundred and fifty photo books throughout his career and this guy shoots everything from bondage to pretty flowers to odd sexual positions.  In my opinion after watching this interesting documentary – he’s the Andy Warhol of Japan.


Diving into the live and work of such an accomplished and talented photographer as Araki is something that anyone with an appreciation for art would do.  The most important and honest observation one could make about this photographer is the range of photos that he takes and the care in taking them that you can tell he does.  The film is more than a slideshow though which is why it works.  Helping aide the beautiful images is a haunting and relaxing electronic store and plenty of voiceovers and clips featuring Araki speaking about his methods, his theories of life and photography, and how he has fallen in love with every woman that he has photographed.  Some may view his photographs as obscene raunchy pornography but through the eyes of Araki – he sees these photos more as an artistic expression, which is why this documentary works and is so interesting to watch.


The 1:33. Aspect ratio on this disc is clean and even throughout – all of Araki’s photographs are clean and easy to view.  Some of the stuff shot on video is too dark and get grainy in places. For the most part though, the colors are vibrant when they should be.  The DTS 5.1 remix on this disc is superb, the musical score surrounds the room and helps immerse you into the center of Araki’s mind.  Also on his disc is the Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Mix in addition to the original 2.0 Dolby Stereo track, both of which are weak compared to the DTS track.


The extras on this disc are nothing to frown at – with the filmmaker’s commentary, interesting additional footage, photo gallery, the original theatrical trailer, and as with all of their releases – a sneak peak at upcoming Tartan releases.  Again I have to tip the hat at Tartan for putting out another great DTS disc and another interesting documentary.  I suggest this film to anyone who is interested in photography or the abstract.



-   Jamie Lockhart


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