Cinema

Ordinary Scenes and Recurring Dreams: Recent Japanese 8mm Films

still from Fire Balls (Onibi) by Shintaro Kiyonari

still from Fire Balls (Onibi) by Shintaro Kiyonari

Saturday, April 29 at 8 PM

The program features a diverse range of contemporary 8mm films by Japanese artists. Although it has been several years since Fuji Film ended the production of Single 8, which was a preferred format among filmmakers in Japan but not for the rest of the world, some filmmakers in Japan are still working with this format – they purchased many cartridges when available and stored them for the future. The program begins with Wriggle, an abstract animation with layers of paints on a 2-dimensional surface by Haruka Mitani, followed by Naoaki Miyamoto’s Tide, which expresses nostalgia through a journey or the flow of a river. Ryo Ishikawa’s On the Shore is made of dream-like sequences with visual effects that address the materiality of the medium, and A Dream of Smoke displays Madoka Kobata’s delicate camerawork with the images of a quiet village and others indoor. Kayako Oki’s Spinning Light conveys further the materiality of the format with a feeling of girlish childhood memories, and Water-soluble Doze by Masaharu Oki depicts the beauty and formality in autumn leaves and others found on the ground. Akio Hikage’s Tanning the film focuses on a repetitive process that seems eternal, and Ryo Ishikawa’s found footage film, Drift, also uses an idea of repetition to build the film structure. Vanitas by Yuriko Sato expresses a sense of being confined to a space or one’s mind, and Sayaka Hayami’s In These Days illustrates everyday scenes at night in her neighborhood. Fire Balls by Shintaro Kiyonari exhibits views from a train, looking toward the sun, along with shots of a baby crawling, while Junhou Arai’s For Life: Plum, Bamboo, and Pine shows physical characteristics of the elderly in a very formal way.

New York-based curator and artist Tomonari Nishikawa will be present to introduce the program, and participating filmmakers Ryo Ishikawa and Sayaka Hayami will be here from Japan to talk about his films as well. Don’t miss this incredibly rare screening to see recent work in small gauge film from Japan projected from its original 8mm format. CURATOR TOMONARI NISHIKAWA AND FILMMAKERS RYO ISHIKAWA & SAYAKA HAYAMI IN ATTENDANCE!

This program is made possible thanks to a grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

still from Drift by Ryo Ishikawa

still from Drift by Ryo Ishikawa

Ryo Ishikawa is a filmmaker based in Tokyo, Japan. He is a co-founder of !8 (Exclamation 8), which is a collective of filmmakers organizing screenings of 8mm films at various venues in Japan. He also has been organizing filmmaking workshops in Tokyo and other cities. He currently works at National Film Center (National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo) in Kanagawa, Japan, inspecting films, especially small formats.

Sayaka Hayami started filmmaking in 2015, and she has completed several 8mm films on a theme of the relationship between oil painting and film medium. She currently works at National Film Center, while pursuing an MFA in Painting at Kanazawa College of Art.

Tomonari Nishikawa is a filmmaker/film curator based in Aichi/Tokyo, Japan, and Binghamton, NY. He co-founded KLEX: Kuala Lumpur Experimental Film & Video Festival and Transient Visions: Festival of the Moving Image. Last year, he established a new screening event, EXPOSURE, at Kopernik Observatory & Science Center. He currently teaches in Cinema Department at Binghamton University.

still from Kono tokorono by Sayaka Hayami

still from Kono tokorono by Sayaka Hayami

Program:
Wriggle (Ugomeki)
(Haruka Mitani, 3 min., Super 8, 18fps, b&w, silent, 2012)
Tide (Asu Michikakeru) (Naoaki Miyamoto & Miyae Yama, 5 min., Super 8, 18 fps, color, sound, 2015)
On the Shore (Ryo Ishikawa, 5.5 min., Single 8, 18fps, color, sound, 2011)
A Dream of Smoke Is (Kemuri no yume ha) (Madoka Obata, 3 min., Single 8, 18fps, silent, 2012)
Spinning Light (Hikaritsumigi) (Kayako Oki, 3.5 min., Single 8, 18fps, color, sound, 2012)
Water-soluble Doze (Sui You Sei) (Masaharu Oki, 3 min., Super 8, 18fps, color, silent, 2012)
Tanning the film (Kage wo Namesuto) (Akio Hikage, 5.5 min., Single 8, 24fps, color, sound, 2012)
Drift (Ryo Ishikawa, 6 min., Single 8, 18fps, color, sound, 2011)
Vanitas (Yuriko Sato, 6 min., Single 8, 18fps, color, silent, 2011)
In These Days (Kono tokorono) (Sayaka Hayami, 3.5 min., Super 8, 24fps, b&w, silent, 2016)
Fire Balls (Onibi) (Shintaro Kiyonari, 8 min., Single 8, 18fps, color, silent, 2011)
For Life: Plum, Bamboo, and Pine (For Life: Bai Chiku Sho) (Junhou Arai, 10 min., Super 8, 18fps, color, silent, 2012)

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