Please see below some “Behind the Scenes” fragments of the ‘In & Out of Japan’ program selected for the E*Cinema Blog – including remembrances and discoveries from archives, libraries and personal recollections.
Producer and scriptwriter Marv Gold kindly shared with us his memories of the making of Super Up! in Chicago, 1966. Marv is now a writer of such works as Memoir of Shel Silverstein and Me and his works are available here.
Production notes for Super Up!: marvgold-productionnotes2
The brochure for Yoji Kuri’s August 1968 program at Nederlands Filmmuseum can be read in the EYE library in Overamstel (open Tue/Thu).
The EYE library also had a copy of the exhibition ‘OH KURI-PO!’ at Sony Building, 1971 and a brochure on the Yoji Kuri program from International Short Film Festival Oberhaussen in 1968.
Some exhibition catalogues of past exhibitions of Shinkichi Tajiri’s works are available to see at the Stedelijk Museum Library and the Openbare Amsterdam Bibliotheek. I’ve uploaded some photographs of the catalogues but these books are really worth looking through yourselves – they’re like sculptural works themselves with an emphasis on tactility, particular in the variety of choices of paper material and display formats. It was remarkable how many books/catalogues of Tajiri’s work the libraries (OBA in particular) had in their collections. Most barely touch on his work in film, however, but this can be read in an interview by EYE programmer Anna Abrahams in the book Mm2: experimental film in the Netherlands since 1960.
Stedelijk Museum, 1960 [available at OBA]
Tokyo Gallery, 1963 [available at Stedelijk Museum Library]
Hamilton Gallery, London, 1964 [available at OBA]
Stedelijk Museum, 1967 [available at OBA]
Tajiri, brief accounts of events since 1923 (1969) [available at OBA]
Lunds Konsthall Sweden, 1971 [available at OBA]
The EYE library also own a rare copy of Takahiko Iimura’s Paper Film: Love and Flower (1970), which includes reproductions of his films Love (1962-63) and Flowers (1968-69) – with the sproketholes visible – and reproductions of essays but Iimura and others (in English/Japanese).
The program from International Film Festival Rotterdam 1973 revealed that Yoko Ono’s films made with John Lennon were screened as part of the festival. [available in the EYE library]
An interview with Tomonari Nishikawa and Daïchi Saïto by Katy Martin can be read here.
Finally, many discoveries were made in my two visits to the EYE collection in Overamstel in preparation for this program, with the help from Anna Dabrowska and Simona Monizza (pictured below, 13th Feb 2014).
In our many conversations, we discussed how we were able to see some traces of the history of screenings of Japanese experimental films in the Netherlands by looking at what films/prints have found their way to the archive. Very interesting to see, for example, a 16mm print of Donald Richie’s Dead Youth (1967) (see entire film on Youtube below) housed in their archive – Richie, an American expat who lived most of his life in Japan, travelled to Amsterdam in 1963 to show a selection of his shorts and later, in 1981, his films were presented together with a selection of Japanese experimental film at International Film Festival Rotterdam (see below), which is probably when this print made its way to the collection (tbc).
Many prints of Yoji Kuri’s shorts from the 1960s have also been a part of the collection since his screenings in 1968/1973, which meant that some of the prints were unfortunately in poor condition. Films by Shuji Terayama, who held the international premier for productions of his theatre troupe Tenjo Sajiki in Amsterdam, were also held in the collection (IFFR also screened his works in 1976, see below).
…see you at the screening on the 18th!