FESTIVAL 2005: FILM SERIES

BUTOH FILM SERIES

AT ANTHOLOGY FILM ARCHIVES
(32 Second Avenue, at 2nd Street, www.anthologyfilmarchives.org)
October 15 (Saturday) at 6:00pm & 8:00pm and October 16 (Sunday) at 3:45pm, 6:00pm & 8:30pm

This film series, hosted by Anthology Film Archives, is an incredible immersion into butoh's world of potent physicality and poetic imagery. The series features short and full-length films: two documentaries that showcase Kazuo Ohno, the founder of the form; and two experimental films - made by artists featured in the festival - that use the expressionistic movement of butoh dancers to tell surreal stories of death and inner demons. The various films - shot in locations throughout Japan and Europe and featuring an array of international butoh artists - are representative of butoh's worldwide scope.

October 15 (Saturday) at 6:00pm; October 16 (Sunday) at 8:30pm
  • Kazuo Ohno by Daniel Schmid
    1995, 14 minutes, color, video.
    From the famed director of LA PALOMA and TOSCA'S KISS comes a short but riveting documentary on legendary butoh dancer Kazuo Ohno. Set in Tokyo's Harumi Pier, the film is an intimate portrait of the founder of this radical dance form. The graceful camerawork of renowned cinematographer Renato Berta captures the playful atmosphere created onstage by Ohno and ushers one right into the depths of Ohno's universe. "This work goes beyond the 'documentary' and into the territory of art films which explore the themes of 'life and death' and 'a man and a woman'." - Takashi Echigoya
  • O, Kind God! by Gianni Di Capua
    2003, 79 minutes, video.
    Butoh founder Kazuo Ohno was once known for his impressive physicality. When filming O, KIND GOD! Ohno was 97 years old, suffering from Alzheimer's disease and could hardly walk - yet he still had an intense desire to dance. Through a series of performances at his home in Yokohama in 2001, this moving documentary powerfully demonstrates that Ohno's dance embodies life in all its aspects. His very presence continues to exude emotion: it overflows with facial expressions and delicate hand movements that are fluid as water and changeable as the sky.
October 15 (Saturday) at 8:00pm; October 16 (Sunday) at 6:00pm
  • Vermillion Souls by Masaki Iwana
    A work-in-progress, 109 minutes, 35mm, b&w.
    Filmmaker present at the screening on Oct. 15th
    Set in Tokyo seven years after the end of WWII, this surreal story revolves around the dreams and realities of a young boy who, while out chasing fliers dropped by a small airplane, strays into a strange mansion. Confined inside are four adults suffering from an unnamed incurable disease, which prevents them from having exposure to the sun. Shot in France and Japan, and featuring a cast of butoh dancers rather than 'actors', the story unfolds to reveal that life becomes true only when one is conscious of death. Written and directed by renowned butoh dancer Masaki Iwana (who is a featured performer in the New York Butoh Festival), VERMILLION SOULS is his first film. Iwana, who began his dance career in 1975 outside the "butoh genealogy", is now based in France where he runs La Maison du Butoh Blanc, an institute for the study of butoh. Note: This film is a work-in-progress.
  • The Duchess by Eric S. Koziol and inkBoat
    2002, 15 minutes, color, video.
    THE DUCHESS is a visually exquisite and surreally poetic film. Based on a performance by the San Francisco-based butoh group inkBoat, it was filmed in Germany inside the opulent Prussian palaces of Sans Souci and the textured ruins of the Fabrik Potsdam. The film is a haunting psychological portrait of a lonely and demented aristocrat filled with long repressed memories and conjured demons. Here the past and present collide, launching sonic shards and psychic debris. Eric S. Koziol's experimental film and video work has been showcased at The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Rotterdam International Film Festival, American Dance Film Festival and others. Writer, choreographer and inkBoat founder Shinichi Momo Koga is an actor and butoh dancer who has presented his solo and ensemble work internationally since 1988. He performed in the first New York Butoh Festival in 2003 and is a featured performer in this year's festival.
October 16 (Sunday) at 3:45pm
  • Just Visiting This Planet by Peter Sempel
    1991, 103 minutes, color, 35mm.
    JUST VISITING THIS PLANET is a devastatingly beautiful and poetic film shot around the world (in Berlin, India, Madrid, New York, Tokyo and Venice) by Berlin-based filmmaker Peter Sempel. It is a documentation-meditation on Kazuo Ohno that collages scenes of the then 86-year old dancer with punk legends Nina Hagen and Blixa Bargeld (of Einst├╝rzende Neubauten) as well as other butoh dancers such as Ko Murobushi. All of this is gorgeously mixed with music by Schubert, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and Einst├╝rzende Neubauten.