Breakthrough with laughter


‘What’s your favorite movie?’ — now here’s a question I am often asked, and one that I am always hard-pressed to find an answer to. There’s many movies that have left a strong impression on me over the years, movies like ‘The Dictator’ ‘The Godfather’, ‘Life is Beautiful’ and so on. However, if I am asked, ‘which movie influenced you the most?’, then I can give an answer without hesitation: ‘Austin Powers’. You may think I am joking but what can I do? It is the truth.
‘Austin Powers’ is a well-known parody of the James Bond series (which I also love), and although they are criticized as dirty, rude and vulgar, I love it all the same.

The first installment in the series was released when I was at the tail-end of my 20s. It was a time of my life dominated by anxiety regarding my work and uncertainty about the future. They were gloomy days, a truly difficult period in my life. But when I watched the movie one day, I laughed my socks off. It wasn’t, as you may think, because it allowed me a brief escape from my worries. No, I remember it as if it was yesterday. It felt like a great pain was taken from me, like the sky just cleared up for me. The silly, naive Austin and his attitude reminded me to always look on the bright side. On top of that, the retro-cool soundtrack was perfect for a music fan like me.

On a slightly related note — the director of SIGMA of America has something about him that reminds me of the character Dr. Evil. A few times, when we joked around during meetings, I switched into the character of Austin Powers and referred to him as Dr. Evil. He’s rather quick-witted, though, and got his revenge by re-casting me as Number 2. I quite enjoy moments like these. That we’re able to do silly jokes now and then is, in part, also thanks to Austin Powers.

‘Austin Powers’ is a 1997 comedy written, produced and starring Mike Myers. Along with the sequel (1999/photo) and the third installment (2002), it became a worldwide hit.

(text / Kazuto Yamaki CEO of SIGMA)

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