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Spanning 1965 to 1974, this program introduces Japanese expanded cinema with, in guest curator Go Hirasawa’s words “Japan as a medium,” placing avant-garde 16mm films in local and global contexts of art, cinema, and technology. In fact, several titles were realized in the United States by filmmakers seizing upon networks linking the two nations, as post-WWII occupation gave way to a globe increasingly connected by the mass media. Associations are expressed on a grassroots level in Mieko Shiomi’s Fluxus film (made in collaboration with Yoko Ono and George Maciunas) and Kenji Kanesaka’s staging of happenings for the camera (capturing his image in Chicago and sound at Tokyo’s Sogetsu Art Center). They also ripple society-wide in Masanori Ōe’s six-screen masterwork collage of social upheaval and counterculture. While featuring notable multiple-screen works, Hirasawa puts forth, here, “the concept of expanded cinema not only as a form of multi-projection and performance screening, but also as a cross-disciplinary film and moving image expression.” This moment saw filmmakers push the relationship between the recorded image and action on the streets around them, from Rikuro Miyai’s atmospheric double-frame tracking of his own shadow to Motoharu Jonouchi’s filming and participation in the student movement in a practice that blurs archive and performance.
Mieko Shiomi. Disappearing Music for Face (Fluxfilm no. 4). 1965. 16mm film (black and white, silent), 12 min. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection Gift
Kenji Kanesaka. Hopscotch. 1967. 16mm film (black and white, sound), 10 min. Preserved by Harvard Film Archive
Masanori Oe and Marvin Fishman. Great Society. 1967. Six-screen 16mm film (black and white and color, sound), 17 min. Preserved by the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum
Rikuro Miyai. Shadow. 1968. Two-screen 16mm film (black and white, sound), 12 min. Preserved by the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum. Courtesy Collaborative Cataloging Japan
Motoharu Jonouchi. Shinjuku Station. 1968–74. 16mm film (black and white, sound), 15 min. Preserved by Asian Cultural Center, Gwangju
Total runtime 66 min.
Virtual Cinema is not available to Annual Pass members. With the exception of Modern Mondays programs, Virtual Cinema screenings are not available outside the US.