Sudden Outbreaks #1-4 / Japanese Experimental Cinema

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A collaboration between Bozar and Cinema Parenthèse, this series of four events focuses on pioneering and prominent Japanese filmmakers and artists whose work has rarely, if at all, been shown in Belgium before. The programmes seek to present a wide range of audacious filmic practices with bold formal experimentation married to lyrical styles in works that lie on the margins of visual culture  during the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

To situate the historical importance of these works and broaden the understanding of their marginal status while also highlighting interfaces between film history, photography and avant-garde art, the film programmes will be contextualized via dialogues with the Swedish filmmaker, researcher and film programmer Daniel A. Swarthnas.

Saturday 23 November, 18h
Sudden Outbreaks #1: Sakumi Hagiwara / Hiroshi Yamazaki
This introductory programme concentrates on works by Sakumi Hagiwara and Hiroshi Yamazaki. Yamazaki's films correspond strongly to his photographic works, which are concerned with filmic temporality and the understanding of film as a time-based medium. His observational films explore the relationship between the camera and nature, the optical features intrinsic to the tool and how it facilitates the understanding of the dimensional and transitional elements of recurring natural phenomena.

Hagiwara’s films consist of an observational statement that, combined with a phenomenal sensitivity to light, movement and stillness, offers a space for reflection on landscape, time, cinema, and image, which relates to both still photography and conceptual time-based art. For example in Kiri (1972), Hagiwara reveals how a landscape appears as the fog slowly disappears, in one single shot (11 min) with the camera fixed on a tripod.

Sakumi Hagiwara

  • Kiri (Sakumi Hagiwara, 1972, 16mm, b&w, silent, 9'00)
  • The Dream Neck Guillotined (Sakumi Hagiwara, 1972, 16mm, b&w, silent, 3'00)
  • Re-print (Sakumi Hagiwara, 1977, 16mm, 3'00)
  • Translate (Sakumi Hagiwara, 1984, 16mm, 5'00)

Hiroshi Yamazaki

  • Fix (Hiroshi Yamazaki, 1972, 16mm, b&w, silent, 5'00)
  • Fixed-Night (Hiroshi Yamazaki, 1972, 16mm, b&w, 6'00)  
  • Fixed Star (Hiroshi Yamazaki, 1973, 16mm, 7'00)
  • A Story (Hiroshi Yamazaki, 1973, 16mm to digital, 6'00)
  • 60 (Hiroshi Yamazaki, 1973, 16mm, 1'00)
  • Epilogue (1976, 16mm, b&w, silent, 1'00)
  • Heliography (Hiroshi Yamazaki, 1979, 16mm, color, sound, 6'00)
  • Motion (Hiroshi Yamazaki, 1980, 16mm, 10'00)
  • Geography (Hiroshi Yamazaki, 1981, 16mm to digital, 7'00)
  • Walking Works (Hiroshi Yamazaki, 1983, 16mm, 5'00)
  • 3···(Hiroshi Yamazaki, 1984, 16mm, 5'00)
  • Winds (Hiroshi Yamazaki, 1985, 16mm to digital, 6'00)

Saturday 23 November, 20h
Sudden Outbreaks #2
The second programme pays attention to a range of known and less well-known Japanese filmmakers and aims to look into different filmic experimentation forms from the 60s till the 80s. In a time when sex, violence and politics takes a prominent role in cinema, art and photography in Japan as well in the rest of the world, this programme allows these topics to figure as ghosts in the background, when it examines the opportunities of cinematic representation, perception, linear temporality, repetition, and sensory overload. Following different methods (optical printing, re-filming, loops, superimposition), these films bring out how the deconstruction of a given original material can produce unexpected constellations and open the ground to the formulation of new film structures.

  • Butterfly (Sakumi Hagiwara, 1973, 16mm, 3'00)
  • Play Back (Nobuhiro Kawanaka, 1973, 16mm, b&w, sound, 7'00)
  • Feed Back (Nobuhiro Kawanaka 1973, 16mm, 8'00)
  • Siki soku ze ku (Toshio Matsumoto,1975,16mm,color, sound, 7'44)
  • Le Cinema (Jun'ichi Okuyama, 1975, b&w, sound, 5' 00)
  • Still Movie (Yoichi Nagata, 1978, 16mm, b&w/color, silent, 3'00)
  • Petrification(1) (I.K.I.F, 1982, 16mm, b&w, 5'00)
  • Thunder (Takashi Ito, 1982, 16mm, color, sound, 5'00)
  • Wiper (Itaru Kato, 1985, 16mm, 7'00)

Sunday 24 November, 16h
Sudden Outbreaks #3: Tsuneo Nakai
Tsuneo Nakai (Osaka, 1947) graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts and began making experimental films in the late 1960s. Nakai's works deal with “pseudomorphous reality” and foster an essential connection to the student movements of the 1960s in Tokyo, while his works in the early 1970s wavered between materiality and immateriality. For example in Lumière (1971), inspired by Michael Snow’s Wavelength (1967), the light of Hiratsuka’s horizon approaches a sandy beach. In Alchemy (1971) Nakai developed the negative/positive transition and flicker effects he would later use in Elixir (1973), one of his most well-known works that won the Grand Prix at the 5th EXPRMNTL Film Festival in Knokke-le-Zoute. In Azoth (1973), the here and now evaporate, as a result of a chemical reaction of images and sound. Nakai later expanded the scope of his activities by including video and media art. His video collage Artificial Paradise (1989) was presented at Documenta 8. In the early 1980s Nakai organised the video exhibition Video Cocktail. Recent media installations include Tokyo Atomic Bomb (2009) and ilinx (2011).

  • Lumière (1971, 16mm, b&w, sound, 3'00)
  • Elixir (1973, 16mm, b&w, silent, 13'24)
  • Alchemy (1971, 16mm to digital, color, sound, 32'00)
  • Azoth (1973, 16mm, color, sound, 14'00)
  • Noise (1977, 16mm, color, 15'00)

Sunday 24 November, 18h
Sudden Outbreaks #4: Takahiko Iimura
Experimental filmmaker and video artist, Takahiko Iimura is a pivotal figure in the history of the underground film who pioneered the first experimental film festival in Japan. Over the last fifty years he has achieved an international reputation, with numerous exhibitions and performances in Japan, the US, and Europe. In the era of the explosion of Underground Film in the United States, Iimura began making experimental film in Tokyo that resulted from reading the news from abroad, without actually seeing the films these news items were referring to. Iiumura's work explores a wide range of fields, from poetic cinema with Dadaist and Surrealist influences in the 1960s to a more structural approach through the 1970s, evoking parallels with the work of artists such as Tony Conrad and Paul Sharits. In the 1960s Iimura was associated with such avant-garde artists as Yoko Ono or the painter Genpei Akasegawa.

  • Kiri (The Fog) (1966 (1970?), 16mm, b&w, silent, 3'00)
  • Ai (Love) (1962-1963, 16mm, b&w, sound, 10'00)
  • On Eye Rape (1962, 16mm, color, silent, 10'00)
  • Ma (Intervals) (1995-1998, 16mm, b&w, sound, 12'00)
  • Shutter (1971, 16mm, b&w, sound, 30'00)

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Dates: 

Saturday, November 23, 2019 (All day) to Sunday, November 24, 2019 (All day)
  • Rue Ravenstein 23
    1000   Bruxelles, Brussels
    Belgium
    50° 50' 39.1992" N, 4° 21' 34.218" E