With help from the Japan Society in New York, we are pleased to present rarely screened films by two of the leaders of the postwar avant-garde in Japan: Terayama Shuji and Matsumoto Toshio. Terayama was a multi-talented artist, blazing a trail in 1960s and 1970s Japan as an award-winning poet, novelist, playwright, and filmmaker (Throw Away Your Books, Rally in the Streets). Matsumoto was one of the intellectual leaders of the Japanese New Wave, penning theoretical works that influenced many filmmakers, while as a filmmaker pursuing what he termed “avant-garde documentary,” feature film (Funeral Parade of Roses), and experimental cinema/video.
Grass Labyrinth 草迷宮 (1979, 50min), directed by Shuji Terayama.
Director Shuji Terayama uses the pretext of a young man’s determination to recover the lyrics and music to a song he loved in his childhood in an exploration of widely variant perceptions of reality. Akira (Takeshi Wakamatsu) is haunted by a “bouncing ball” song. (Mubi.com)
Dogura Magura ドグラ・マグラ (1988, 109min), directed by Toshio Matsumoto.
On the day of his marriage, Ichiro Kure kills the bride, goes insane as a result and loses his memory. In the hospital he becomes the victim of the professors’ ambitions and lives from now on in a world of fear and horrifying visions. (Mubi.com)
This screening is generously supported through the collaboration of The National Film Archive of Japan, Japan Foundation, Yale Film Archive, and the Council on East Asian Studies.