When: Tuesday, 23 November 2010, 8pm (Doors open at 7.45pm)
Tickets: £9/£5 Close-Up members & concessions.
Close-Up and Zipangu have collaborated for the 1st annual Zipangu Fest to put together a programme of Japanese independent and experimental cinema from the 1960s. This special event includes films never before screened in the UK and offers an engaging insight into a decade that was defined by political ferment and avant-garde activity in all sectors of its art world.
The three chosen filmmakers, Donald Richie, Motoharu Jonouchi and Masanori Oe, all capture the zeigeist they were intrinsically a part of, yet articulate themselves in ways that range from the poetic to the abrasive, often mixing the two expressions.
The retrospective programme invites its audience to an introduction to Japanese experimental filmmaking through the eyes of three landmark figures in the independent art scene.
Time marches on, with less than a week to go until Zipangu Fest announces its line-up to the world at the Halloween Schlockfest Double Bill this Friday, 29 October, at the Barbican. Tickets are just about sold out for this, although you might be lucky if you get in quick and grab one of the last ones. If you can’t make it, not to worry, as news about the main festival will be posted up here in due course, and no doubt on other sites across the web.
Tetsuaki Matsue's Annyong Kimchee at CUEAFS
In the meantime, I’m pleased to announce that our first pre-festival event, a lecture about jishu eiga by myself followed by a screening of Tetsuaki Matsue’s revealing debut Annyong Kimchee at the Coventry University East Asian Film Society went really well, with a great turnout and an enthusiastic response from all those who came to see it. Thanks to all who came, and also a big thanks to those CUEAFS members who took the time to film and interview me: here’s a video of me talking about the film and the fest from Youtube, with questions being fired at me by the delightful Michelle Bailey.
I’m also really happy to announce that for those who weren’t in Coventry, that I’ll be doing this same “Putting the ‘I’ in Independent” talk and Annyong Kimchee screening in London from 7-9pm, Friday 12 November, at the Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre in the Russell Square campus for SOAS. Entry is free to anyone who wants to come, and you can find out more details about this here.
Which leads me on to the details of another Zipangu Fest event, this time directly prior to the main festival screenings at Cafe 1001 and the Genesis Cinema. On Tuesday 23 November, we’re collaborating with those legendary guardians of film culture in the East End, Close-Up, to present Nippon Year Zero: Japanese Experimental Film from the 1960s-1970s at the Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club. There’s more details on the Close-Up website here and the Zipangu Fest website here, and Chris Magee at the Toronto J-Film Pow-Wow has also already covered it here.
Masanori Oe's Great Society, screening as part of the Nippon Year Zero event at the Bethnal Green Working Man's Club on 23 November.
We’re really excited about this programme, which showcases the works of three of the great underground/experimental/avant-garde directors of the 1960s, Motoharu Jonouchi, Masanori Oe and Donald Richie – yes, when he wasn’t writing books about Japanese film, Donald Richie made films in Japan, and damn fine ones too! All of the films we’re screening are pretty special, but I’m particularly excited about Oe’s dazzling multi-screen piece of swinging sixties zeitgeist, Great Society – nothing to do with David Cameron’s “Big Society”, mercifully, but a film I’ve been meaning to share more widely ever since I caught it at Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival in 2003. Just a quick note, to say too, if there are any UK programmers or exhibitors who want to make use of these films while the prints are in the country, please drop me a line and we’ll see what we can do.
More news coming later this week, so keep your eye on the Zipangu Fest website …
Posted at 22:58 on 24 October 2010 Filed under news.