This collection features six works of pioneering film and video artist Takahiko Iimura, including "Onan" (1963), "White Calligraphy," "Face," "Filmmakers," and "AIUEONN Six Features" (1993). Iimura's films are singular--particularly among the Tokyo artists of his time--in their combinations of Surrealist and Dadaist influences and underlying humor.
Takahiko Iimura is considered one of the most influential and important experimental filmmakers of our time. In an era of the explosion of Underground Film in the States, Iimura, almost alone in Tokyo, began making experimental film just reading the news from abroad without actually seeing them. His work explores wide range of experiments from poetic cinema with Dadaist and Surrealist influence and Absurdist filmic play in the 1960's through more formal and conceptual investigations in the 1970's and the later. He is also a widely established international artist, having numerous exhibitions including installation and performance in Japan, the USA, and Europe. One of his early films, "Onan", which is the starter of this collection, was awarded Special Prize at the legendary Brussels International Experimental Film Festival, l964. This compilation assembles mainly his early stage of the 1960s except "AIUEONN Six Features"(1993).
Onan(1963, 7min.) Winner of Special Prize at legendary Brussels International Experimental Film Festival, 1964. A surreal short tale of a young guy bears a big egg after masturbation...
White Calligraphy (1967, 11min) is a film featuring calligraphy scratched directly on black film one character in every frame taken from the famous story of Kojiki, written in 8th Century. When projected, it is too fast to read, but seen as an abstract line animation film. It is an almost like autonomous writing of surrealist, lines rapidly explode like firework
AIUEONN Six Features(1993, 7min.) plays on computerized funny faces with Japanese vowels which don't synchronize with the voice except the first time. Repeated delay between the voice and the mouth may actualize the theory of "Differance" with "a" by Jacques Derrida combining "difference" and "delay."
Face(1968-69, 17min.) is featuring Warhol's super stars, Mario Montez, and underground comic star of the Kuchar brothers', Donna Kerness, in their sexual process on faces in acting mixed with the "real"one in close-ups questions the difference between what is "real" and what is "fake" in film. Continuous laughing voice over the images makes one wonder as an absurd play.
Filmmakers (1969, 28min.) documents in a very personal manner the portraits of the most active experimental filmmakers in the mid 1960's: Stan Brakhage, Stan Vanderbeek, Jack Smith, Jonas Mekas, Andy Warhol, and Takahiko Iimura. It is a rare historical document of the "Golden Age" of underground film. The film also characterizes the shooting method to each filmmaker as partially uses their style of filming in their parts. The sound counteracts the shooting style as Iimura himself records the voice in words what he sees in the picture objectifying the voice over the image.