Jikken Eiga: New Japanes Films | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Jikken Eiga: New Japanes Films 

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The differences between recent Japanese experimental filmmaking and the older American experimentation that in part inspired it have fascinated me. The seven films on this program don't use images to express emotions or to explore human perception or the nature of the medium--the principal American tendencies. In fact, their images defy easy explanation. Perhaps the most successful is Hassieshoku ("Eclipse for Occurrence," 1992), by Jun Miyakzaki. It begins with a shot of still water reflecting the sun; the shadow of a hand, and then the hand itself, enter the frame; soon the hand pierces the water, setting the reflection of the sun in motion. The film is a kind of light poem, almost an inventory of the ways light can shine out of an image or be obscured. In one literal "eclipse," created by camera movement, a street lamp obscures the sun. Miyakzaki frequently superimposes images in several layers, combining various light sources and reflections of objects. He sees light as a natural phenomenon whose variety preceded human existence; humans often disrupt or obscure it. Chicago Filmmakers, 1543 W. Division, Friday, September 24, 8:00, 384-5533.

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