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May 31, 2010 | by  | in Film | [ssba]

The Invention of Dr. NakaMats

The Invention of Dr. NakaMats
Director: Astrup Schroder

The American science academy recently named the best scientists in history as: Archimedes, Marie Curie, Nikola Tesla, Michael Faraday and Yoshiro Nakamatsu, or so Nakamatsu (or Dr. NakaMats as he is affectionately called) tells us. Whether or not he is being completely truthful is uncertain. What is certain is that he is a fascinating man and a fitting subject for a film.

At the beginning of Kaspar Astrup Schroder’s documentary, Nakamatsu claims that he has 3357 patents (Edison only had 1093) and we learn of many of these during the course of the film. At various points he claims he invented the floppy disk and Karaoke (his Wikipedia page notes that he invented the basic technology of the floppy disk but makes no mention to his contribution to the field of drunken singing). Other things he mentions seem less useful. These include, but are not limited to, pogo shoes, a notepad that works underwater, and ‘Love Jet’, a substance that supposedly increases female libido; he never specifies how.

Nakamatsu’s eccentricities extend beyond his inventions. He is eager to share his personal philosophies which he adheres to ardently with the intention of living to the age of 144. At an already impressive 80, Nakamata thinks of himself as about halfway through his life and stays healthy by sleeping four hours a night, eating a single meal a day and practising sumo wrestling.

Nakamatsu is, however, a bit of a jerk, and his arrogance definitely contributes to his interest. Some of the film’s best moments involve men prostrating themselves before him as he scolds them for insulting him for various things. Furthermore, since the filmmaker’s involvement is minimal, the narration is done by Nakamatsu himself as he tells us about all his aforementioned inventions, rituals and philosophies. No other subject gets as much speaking time and nobody is given the chance to talk candidly about Nakamata; it is always Nakamata on Nakamata.

While it may sound like I’ve described all there is to describe in this fleeting, one-hour documentary, I haven’t. The man has to be seen to be believed. At the end of the film, Nakamata tells his barber “These people edit out all the good stuff and only show the weird scenes.” But there is nothing malicious about the situations Schroder chooses to show and I am sure he was just as fascinated as I was by this incredible, if flawed, man.


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  1. Ryan Liu says:

    Please forgive me if I have interrupted you.

    You may read this whenever you have the time.

    I believe it is quite possible that I have an idea that you may want to hear about.

    If you are at all interested in hearing what I have to say, you may contact me through this email address.

    If not, then you can call me at this number: 732-593-9142

    Unfortunately, I am at the airport typing this, and I will be going away to China for a month.

    Again, you may do this whenever you have the proper time.

    Thank you,

  2. smackdown says:

    salient project – call that number

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