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Stray Dog of Tokyo

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Product Details

  • Format: Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: VIZ Media
  • Release Date: Jan. 26 2010
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • ASIN: B002WN8ISO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #106,258 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Daido Moriyama: Stray Dog of Tokyo

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars f you are a fan of Moriyama's photography, "Stray Dog of Tokyo" is definitely recommended! Aug. 17 2010
By [KNDY] Dennis A. Amith - Published on
Daido Moriyama - one of the world's renown photographers who's shaky and off focus photographers were unacceptable in the past but now is considered one of the greatest artistic photographers living today and known for creating anew era of photography for postwar Japan.

His photographs captured everday subjects but with a focus on the dark and gloomy part of Japanese cities that are typically unnoticed and eventually becoming a photographer who took images depicting the breakdown of traditional values in post-war Japan.

Influenced by Shomei Tomatsu, William Klein, Andy Warhol and Eiko Hosoe, Moriyama studied photography under the tutelage of Takeji Iwamiya, another popular Japanese photographer known for his photography capturing architecture, gardens and Japanese crafts.

Not much is known about Daido Moriyama because he is an extremely private man, but in 2000, Moriyama gave director Kenjiro Fujii unprecedented access to create a film about his work and a more personal interview about his life in general and now that film is available in the US courtesy of Viz Pictures "New People Artist Series vol. 003'.


"Daido Moriyama - Stray Dog of Tokyo - New People Artist Series 003' is presented in color, 4:3. The majority of the shots were captured in Moriyama's studio and footage of the photographer wandering through Japan as he takes his pictures. The documentary was shot with a regular camcorder and thus picture quality displays quite a bit of combing which is visible while watching. But mostly in scenes where there is a lot of motion. It's not really disturbing, considering this is more of a documentary type of film but for those who are concerned about PQ, there is quite a bit of combing that is quite evident throughout the film but mostly evident when Moriyama is outdoors shooting his photos.


"Daido Moriyama - Stray Dog of Tokyo - New People Artist Series 003' is presented in Japanese Dolby Digital with English subtitles. Audio is clear and I didn't hear any major hissing or pops during viewing. Music is also utilized on this film.


"Daido Moriyama - Stray Dog of Tokyo - New People Artist Series 003' comes with no special features but trailers for currently released or coming soon "New People Artist Series" titles. You do get a one sheet bio. on Moriyama and director Fujii and personal history on the photographer.


Typically when you hear about artists who keep to themselves, they typically are not so embracing of being filmed. As we have seen in the previous two New People Artist Series volumes with Yoshitomo Nara and Yayoi Kusama, although they have given unprecedented access to them creating their work, we have seen them get upset to nearly trying to find ways to get away from the camera because they don't like being shot on camera and want their work to be the vocal point and not them.

But interesting enough, Daido Moriyama, who is not known to give access to media, is rather cool and aloof in "Stray Dog of Tokyo". Moriyama wanted this documentary to be shot in an amateur way and thus gave access to director Kenjiro Fujii and one assistant and let them cover him for five months, wanting the documentary to have a feel like a photo documentation type of style to it.

The legendary photographer answers every question asked of him and doesn't stray away from them, especially questions in concerns to his family and his past drug use. Moriyama is candid about his whole life experience and we get to learn of his challenges, his inspirations and despite going on shooting photography for over 50 years, he is not ready to give up photography just yet. And even in one segment, he borrows the filmmaker's digital camera and starts experiencing how digital cameras work and what kind of photography he is able to capture with one.

And also we get perspectives from photographer Nobuyoshi Araki, critic Kazuo Nishii and others who give us an idea of what makes Moriyama's photography so special and what he is able to capture that most people are unable to repeat. But most of all, we learn of Moriyama's take towards photography and his mentality with shooting pictures. From the use of high contrast, the emphasis of grays and more.

As for the DVD, yes it may have been shot on a regular camcorder and it's a DVD that does not come with many special features but when you get unprecedented access to these legendary artists and photographers, you can't help but grateful that there is a documentary based on that creator and in this case, you get you're money's worth with this DVD release.

So, far these first three volumes from the New People Artist Series have been wonderful. We can always appreciate these works of art and photography by the creators but these releases give us a chance to see what goes on behind-the-scenes of these creators today and watch them in action as they are working on a project. While most of the New People Artist Series focuses on paintings, I was grateful to see a photographer was included into the series.

Overall, if you are a fan of Daido Moriyama's work, I definitely recommend picking up "Stray Dog of Tokyo". Definitely recommended!
5.0 out of 5 stars Dog's Eye View Sept. 20 2010
By Zack Davisson - Published on
Daido Moriyama is a name I have never heard before in my life before I picked up "Stray Dog of Tokyo." But I had enjoyed the previous two releases in Viz's "New People Artist Series," with Yoshitomo Nara and Yayoi Kusama, and I wanted to continue with the series.

Moriyama, it turns out, is a fascinating individual. Born in 1938 in Ikeda, Osaka (where I lived for four years, which was an unexpected coincidence!), Moriyama is of that cynical generation who were children during war-time Japan, then saw the selfish and empty society that sprang up in the aftermath. Like other artists of his generation (Oshima Nagisa springs to mind with his Cruel Story of Youth), Moriyama started making a record of the shadowy parts of his country hidden by the glaring neon-lights of pop-culture progress and a future that seemed eternally rosy.

A notorious recluse, Moriyama only opened up for this documentary under the condition that it would be done on a single camcorder, with as little possible barrier between subject and screen. I found that fascinating. Too many photographers that I know use their camera as a barricade to hide behind from the world. Shy people, they hold up huge cameras up to hide their own face and are only observers, not participants. Moriyama specifically attempts to avoid this by using small cameras, and from shooting from the hip rather than composing shots.

He says that he developed this technique as people react differently when they think they are on camera, and this way the photographer and subject can be eye to eye like people. He purposefully uses cheap cameras, picked up in used shops and markets, and it was not until this documentary that he took his first digital picture.

I loved listening to Moriyama talk about his photography. He has fascinating theories, like about how photographers should only copy, and not try and put themselves into the picture. For awhile he experimented with controlled exposures on pictures, but he was unsatisfied with this as he felt that he was then attempting to manipulate the world around him, rather than just copy it.

This was an interesting point, as photographer Nobuyoshi Araki (Subway Love) points out most photographers are creating fiction with their work. Araki makes mention of both their works involving Love Hotels, with Araki's being largely posed and Moriyama's (Daido Moriyama: The World through My Eyes) being raw and emotional.

The title, "Stray Dog in Tokyo," comes from Moriyama's own reference to himself in his autobiography Memories of a Dog, which I may just have to pick up. Thanks to Viz for introducing me to a fascinating and powerful artist!
3.0 out of 5 stars nice view Sept. 1 2013
By zdog69 - Published on
Verified Purchase
great start to the film with Daido talking about his life/process and footage of him doing it all too, Some great insight into the man from his colleagues and friends but the last chunk of the film is useless, The film-maker thought it a great idea to let Daido have try a digital camera instead of his old point and shoot and film it for half an hour, the result is the same as watching anyone who has been handed a digital camera for the first time spin around and take photos of absolutely anything and lose interest in the shot before the preview screen even fades.

worth buying for the most part just fast forward the end.
4.0 out of 5 stars viva black and white celluloid film..! Nov. 26 2012
By john suryaatmadja - Published on
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this is quite personal , but i sort of see myself in seeing daido's way of seeing things.
and how he lived his years..and experience the world through his eyes!
how we realize that being 'burebokeh' (jerky blurrist) in a certain way is alright!
it's all about the man behind the gun rather than those high tech gun!
and here you can see how black and white film is irreplaceable..the grain feeling of it when it came out in prints , no matter how digital era can do nowadays.
4.0 out of 5 stars Insight to a brilliant photographer June 14 2013
By Choon - Published on
Verified Purchase
Its always great to hear straight from the artist themselves. And in this case, even better to get to follow him through his rounds around Shinjuku.