Autumn (Tokyo Studio)

Soukou: Wolf sacrifices beasts/ wild camellias bloom (1 of 5)

October 25th, 2008

Soukou 1 of 15We were very lucky today to have the experimental filmmaker, Yo OTA-san, organise a small (and intimate screening) for us at his studio/ workspace in Saginomiya, Nakano-ku. Two of Ota-san’s friends: the photographer, Motoshima-san, and experimental filmmaker, Sueoka-san, in addition to Redmond and myself, attended.

We caught a Seibu-Shinjuku express from Takadanobaba to Sagninomiya, which only took about 7 minutes. Ota-san met us at the station and we marched briskly to his residence only about 3 minutes walk away. He urshered us into his studio and said something in Japanese before disappearing. The studio is about 5 meters by 3 meters, lined with books, films, video tapes, and projection equipment. We waited a little while browsing his collections. Suddenly we heard some noise. We looked through the door-way and saw Ota-san appearing mysteriously through a trap-door, descending from a steep ladder from the second storey, bringing two folding chairs.

We soon met his wife and his two friends. The six of us sat around the small make-shift table (a tray on top of a crate) drinking green tea and eating the peanut-butter cookies Mrs Ota made and the Tim-Tams we bought (from an odd deli in Shinjuku station). We chatted as Ota-san set up the equipment: the room was swiftly darkened, the arc-lamp projector set up with a super-wide lens, speakers connected, and free-standing screen set up about 2 meters from the lens – it must have been one of the smallest screenings in the world!

Ota-san showed his latest film, Reflections. It was followed by a round of applause and some comments. Then Sueoka-san showed his work, Portland, Oregon 1931. A round of applause and more comments. I showed a couple of my works (unfortunately, it had to be on the computer). Another round of applause and some interesting comments. Redmond showed some of his photographs online. Then Motoshima-san showed his photographs and shared his theory about what Kami-sama (the Japanese god) likes in the landscape.

Sueoka-san took his leave. The rest of us took a brisk walk into town and had some miso-ramen, before heading back to the studio for 3 more of Ota-san’s films: Incorrect intermittence, Speed trap, and Inclined horizon. After the screening, we had photographs taken in the garden ‘for memory’ of the great day, fantastic films, and photographs!

4 Responses to “Soukou: Wolf sacrifices beasts/ wild camellias bloom (1 of 5)”

  1. 1 Lucas in Austinmer
    October 27th, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    aw, this sounds great jo. i hope you and louise and red can organise an ota screening in sydney. maybe we can get him out here??

    i wonder what the “interesting comments” were!

  2. 2 jolaw
    October 27th, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    Yeah, that would be great! Ota-san also curates programs of contemporary Japanese experimental films. They screen in France and to date he has done 7 of these. I am keen to look into possibilities of bring them out to Australia – probably through uni, AFC, and TLC(?)

  3. 3 Louise
    November 1st, 2008 at 9:22 am

    Hi Jo
    Yes, I spoke to Robert Herbert at AGNSW about Yo OTA’s films – but Robert is so slack.

    Lucas suggests we get OTA-san out to Cowra to Brian Langer’s gallery. Hmmm, good idea. LC xx

    You know OTA-san sent me a very beautiful package of DVD and amazing cover letter in his bid to reach you.

  4. 4 jolaw
    November 3rd, 2008 at 9:14 am

    Hi Louise!

    The programs OTA-san curated for the French screenings would be really great (they include his works as well as others – have you seen Soueka-san’s works?). If I get a chance I will try to talk to the Australian Embassy about the possiblilty of taking the contemporary Japanese experimental film programs out the Australia.

    Anyway, more discussions later!