Curious to watch some experimental Japanese films?


  • Arts
  • Friday, 28 Aug 2015

Japanese director Shunsuke Hasegawa's fragile cinematic poem Vanishing Circuit takes viewers to the Japanese metropolis, traversing it with a perception that is both pacifying and provocative. Photo: KLEX

Lostgens’ Art Space in Kuala Lumpur is set for a Japanese-inspired film evening on Sept 1.

The experimental arts venue will host the KLEX ExScreen series, which presents the upcoming Genius Loci: Contemporary Japanese Experimental Film And Video Screening programme, featuring works from the Image Forum Festival in Tokyo.

Image Forum Festival director and curator Koyo Yamashita will also be in town to present the programme in person.

KLEX ExScreen is an experimental video screening series of the Kuala Lumpur Experimental Film, Video & Music Festival (KLEX), which started this year. ExScreen aims to provide a platform for appreciation and discussion in experimental cinema.

Genius Loci: Contemporary Japanese Experimental Film And Video Screening presents six short films from Japanese directors like Hirofumi Nakamoto, Mikio Okado, Saya Ito, Yoshifumi Nakamoto, Hideki Kawahara and Maya Nukumizu, Ryo Ishikawa and Shunsuke Hasegawa.

Of particular note is Hasegawa’s Vanishing Circuit (2014). This dreamlike movie, created under the influence of French filmmaker/artist Chris Marker’s legendary film La Jetee (1962), introduces a man who begins to perceive the world through the eyes of a complete stranger.

This fragile cinematic poem takes viewers to the Japanese metropolis, traversing it with a perception that is both pacifying and provocative.

Ishikawa’s Undercurrent (2011) sees dreamlike footage of objects and light passing cyclically as if watching a view from the window of a train.

Double, triple exposure using a projector and hand-processing also give a special effect of light in this film.

Ito’s Soldier School (2012) is where social and political comment converge. A boy is sent to a military school to be brainwashed to be a super-soldier. Ito has crafted a dark, absurd animation film which wryly reflects on the pre-war totalitarian regime of Japan.

KLEX ExScreen’s guest curator Yamashita will be the man to bring insight to these Japanese experimental films. He has been festival director of Image Forum Festival since 2001.

He has been the programmer of Theater Image Forum in Shibuya, Tokyo since 2005, as well as guest programmer/curator for many film and media art festivals and film events in and outside Japan, such as Transmediale (Berlin), Norwegian Short Film Festival (Grimstad), Seoul New Media Festival Festival (Seoul) and more.

He has served on the jury of many international film and art festivals such as the Hong Kong International Film Festival, Cannes Director’s Fortnight and Rotterdam International Film Festival.


Genius Loci: Contemporary Japanese Experimental Film And Video Screening takes place at Lostgens’ Art Space, No. 8, Level 3, Jalan Panggong, Kuala Lumpur on Sept 1. Doors open at 8.30pm. Admission is through a donation of RM10. Details at www.facebook.com/groups/klexfest or e-mail: info@klexfilmfest.com.


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