Born 1964 in Kita-Kyushu. After entering Rikkyo University, Aoyama began his work in film with 8mm projects such as Yoru Made Hitottobi (Straight To The Night), and Akai Mafular (The Red Muffler). Aoyama was deeply influenced by Shigehiko Hasumi's film criticism classes during his college years. After completing his college studies, Aoyama continued making 8mm films. He began work in the film industry as a prop assistant. He later became an assistant director on several projects including Kurosawa Kiyoshi's Jigoku No Keibiin (The Guard from the Underground). He also worked as an assistant director on Fridrik Thor Fridriksson
's Cold Fever, and Daniel Schmid's The Written Face.
While continuing his career as an assistant director, Aoyama also contributed as a writer/critic to such publications as Cahiers du Cinéma Japon and Esquire Japan. Aoyama made his directorial debut in 1995 with a straight-to-video project titled Kyokasho Ni Nai (It's Not In The Textbook). Thereafter he directed his first theatrical feature, Helpless (1995), which won the Grand Prix at the 1996 Japan Film Industry Professional Awards. The same film played extensively on the international film festival circuit, including the Toronto and Viennale Festivals. Aoyama has continued to create films at an untiring pace: Chimpira (Two Punks, 1996), Wild Life (1997), Tsumetai Chi (An Obsession, 1997) and Shady Grove (1999).
Note: This profile was written in or before 2003.
Shinji Aoyama Facts
|The 3 Faces of Shinji Aoyama by Jun Kunimura|