Taking on any documentary film project means being ready to go anywhere your story leads you. In the case of My Shanghai, the roads have linked oceans, decades and cultures, with one exit off the I-5 in Keizer, Oregon. This is where I found Thomas Crossland.
Thomas is a Japanese print dealer. Wherefore, ahead of its March premiere, My Shanghai is on display in his online gallery of Japanese woodblock prints, ukiyoe-gallery.com. The business grew out of his passion for old Japanese culture and the lengths he has taken to explore it, including two solo bicycle trips covering 1,600 miles in 1995 and 1997.
Of woodblock prints, Thomas writes, “Words such as dreamlike, hypnotic, and mystical do not seem to even fully describe the degree to which these magical works of art move me. But, in their viewing, I find myself clearly taken from the present and moved back in time….”
I had emailed him a couple of months ago about Virginia’s collection. He not only smoothed the way for me to make contact with the original Japanese publishers of her prints, he offered to publicize the film and even made a donation. More evidence that My Shanghai can take you where you didn’t expect to go.
Thomas has put together an extensive, thoughtful story on Virginia, me and My Shanghai entitled “Library Article #58”. Well, it has a fancier title, but I kind of like that one. Article #58 circles back through myshanghaifilm.com archives to highlight where we’ve been and where we’re going… which is to California for our World Premiere at the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival on March 8!
Until then, you’ll find us in Thomas Crossland’s gallery next to some other rare beauties.
© 2014 First Straw Films LLC / My Shanghai LLC