Jon Moritsugu

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Jon Moritsugu
Born 1965 (age 48–49)
Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Occupation Filmmaker

Jon Moritsugu (born 1965 in Honolulu, Hawaii) is an American cult/underground filmmaker.[1] He started filmmaking in high school in the early 1980s and then attended Brown University, where he studied semiotics and critical theory. His senior thesis film, "Der Elvis", was called by critic J. Hoberman "one of the top 50 films of the eighties." [2] Moritsugu's films are defined by their "lo-fi" aesthetic, and were initially shot on 16mm film stock to give them a gritty, visceral quality.[1] The movies themselves are often absurdist comedies that feature actress, co-writer, co-producer, and wife, Amy Davis. Moritsugu writes all of his films, and also serves as producer, editor, as well as distributor. Fellow underground filmmaker Todd Verow served as cinematographer on three of Moritsugu's features: Terminal USA (1993) Mod Fuck Explosion (1994) and "Pig Death Machine" (2013).[3]

His films have been featured at Sundance, Cannes, Berlin, Toronto, MoMA, Guggenheim, Whitney and numerous other festivals and museums. Fame Whore was considered for an Academy Award in 1999, but was rejected because it was screened in 16mm, and at the time, all Academy Award considerations had to be screened in 35mm.

In spring of 2011, Jon Moritsugu directed with Davis a music video for the song No Future Shock by Brooklyn rock group TV on the Radio. As described by writer Rani Molla, "Santa Fe filmmakers Jon Moritsugu and Amy Davis veer (very slightly) from their underground experimental base with a music video released today for popular Brooklyn experimental band TV on the Radio. The video is one in a movie-length series of music videos for the band's new album Nine Types of Light".[4] In 2012, this project received a Grammy Nomination in the "Long Form Music Video" category,[5] eventually losing to the Foo Fighters for the Grammy Award.


Moritsugu also fronted (1997-8) a punk band with Andy Matinog and Mike Masatsugu called No-No Boy after the novel by John Okada and is currently in a lo-fi indie garage rock band with Amy Davis called Low on High.[6]



  1. ^ a b Mayfield, Dan (5 July 2009). "Their Love Built On Chicken Sandwiches". Albuquerque Journal. Archived from the original on 20 August 2010. Retrieved 20 August 2010. 
  2. ^ "Biography." JON MORITSUGU. Web. 04 Feb. 2011. <>.
  3. ^ Lindsey. "Interview : Jon Moritsugu." 20 June 2005. Web. 04 Feb. 2011. <>
  4. ^ Santa Fe Reporter. Web. 12 Apr. 2011.<>
  5. ^ Albuquerque Journal. Web. 7 Dec. 2011.<>
  6. ^ JonnyCunt. "PIG DEATH MACHINE – Jon Moritsugu & Amy Davis’ First Film In a Decade! ." THE END OF BEING . Web. 27 Jan. 2011. <>.

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