EXPRMNTL 1963 – Japanese Experimental Film in Blossom

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In 1949, the peaceful seaside resort of Knokke Le Zoute in Belgium staged an ambitious avant-garde film movement. Organized by the Royal Belgian Film Archive, the Experimental Film Festival “EXPRMNTL” drew worldwide cultural attention, with a prestigious prize awarded with the financial help of a local casino. Until its final edition in 1974, the festival was only held five times. However, during this period, it continually presented experimental film works that would eventually mark history, stirred up controversies with radical works, and significantly contributed to bridging the gap between cinema and other artistic fields. In Japan also, key figures of the blooming postwar experimental film world participated in the festival since its inaugural edition. Especially in the third “EXPRMNTL” edition held in 1963, seven out of 107 works were from Japan, and created a sensation. Bewildered about how to evaluate these works, the jury eventually offered a special prize collectively to all seven works. The participating directors, upon their return to Japan, organized in 1964 the “Film Independents” Festival at Kinokuniya Hall in Shinjuku, presenting radical works that contributed to the intermingling of experimental cinema and contemporary art.

The screened films of the award-winning works were eventually donated to the Belgian Royal Belgian Film Archive, and kept in its collection. Last year, for the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Belgium, these films were newly digitized. With the cooperation of VUB Professor Hans de Wolf and the Royal Film Archive, we are retracing the dawn of Japanese postwar experimental film, with a special screening of these works.

Programme:
- Naoya Yoshida (1931-2008), Mon-Yo: Ornamental Motifs from Japan
(1962, 23 min, Digital version of original 16mm film, B&W)
Cinematography: Yoshihiro Imai, Art: Kohei Sugiura, Kiyoshi Awazu, Music: Toru Takemitsu, Sound Engineering: Kiyoshi Inamura, Editing: Susumu Otaka, Supervision: Jo Okada, Tomoyuki Yamanobe

- Donald Richie (1924-2013), War Games
(1962, 22 min, Digital version of original 16mm film, B&W)
Scenario+Editing: Donald Richie, Cooperation: Hijikata Tatsumi

- Yoichi Takabayashi (1931-2012), The Sand
(1963, 26 min, Digital version of original 16mm film, B&W)
Production Company: Korin Group, Production: Yoichi Takabayashi, Cast: Kyoji Date [Tetsuro Sagawa], Mutsuko Masaki

- Takahiko Iimura (1937-), ONAN
(1963, 7 min, Digital version of original 16mm film, B&W)
Production+Scenario+Cinematography: Takahiko Iimura, Art: Natsuyuki Nakanishi, Music: Yasunao Tone/ Cast: Natsuyuki Nakanishi, Akiko Kodaira

- Kazutomo Fujino (1928-1980) + Nobuhiko Obayashi (1938-), An Eater
(1963, 24 min, Digital version of original 16mm film, B&W)
Cinematography: Nobuhiko Obayashi, Effects: Minoru Yoshida, Art: Shinai Fujino, Cast: Sachiko Matsushita, Kazuo Tai, Daigo Kusano, Takaya Kimotsuki, Ayako Takahashi, Tamaro Araki, Tadashi Terasawa, Shin Kishida, Sakio Hirata, Kazutomo Fujino, Jinichi Ishizaki, Yoshiyuki Oka

[Organizer] The University Museum, the University of Tokyo (UMUT) + Vrije Universiteit Brussel
[Cooperation] Royal Belgian Film Archive + Brussels Capital-Region
[Program Conception] Intermediatheque Department, The University Museum, the University of Tokyo

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Dates: 

Friday, March 24, 2017 - 18:00
  • KITTE 2-3F, 2-7-2 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku
    Tokyo
    Japan
    Phone: +81 (0)3-5777-8600
    35° 40' 47.28" N, 139° 45' 53.5572" E