sábado, 6 de novembro de 2010

Studies #4 - Motoharu Jonouchi's Gewaltopia Trailer

Description #1

The title Gewaltopia Trailer (1968) has a dual meaning in the Japanese language; one meaning for the word yokoku (trailer) could mean a compilation of extracts to promote a film, but it can also mean a prediction, a prophecy for the future as a Gewaltopia (Gewalt=violence + Utopia). The film accumulates footage from his earlier films and arranges them in different contexts, a characteristic style of Jonouchi’s who often re-edited his films for each screening and provided different soundtracks. The jarring aural atmosphere, exemplary of the emergent noise-music scene, haunts the screen in an oppressive hypnosis and will seduce you into entrancement.

(Gewaltopia Trailer, 1968)
Description #2

Jonouchi’s “Gewaltopia Trailer” (1968) intersperses student protests at Nihon University with a swirling arsenal of images: mushroom clouds, excerpts from Nosferatu and King Kong, and people with writing tattooed or printed on various areas of their bodies. The soundtrack is a mix of anguished human voices and eerie electronic music.

(Gewaltopia Trailer, 1968)

A little introduction about Jonouchi

Born in 1935, in Ibaragi Prefecture. Jonouchi entered the Art Department of Nihon University; in 1957, along with his colleague Katsumi Hirano, he co-founded the Film Study Group in the Fine Art Department of Nihon University. He co-directed “The Record of N [N no Kiroku]” (59), the second production by the collective, documenting the disaster of the Ise Bay Typhoon. “Pou Pou” (60) is a chain of amorphously expanding phantasmagoric images, with insertions of the images taken from film classics. During the same period, looking ahead to the future after graduation, he co-founded the VAN Institute for Cinematic Science as a forum for film production, and began living communally with five members including Masao Adachi. In correspondence with the anti-art movement of the time, VAN Institute assumed a place for artists working in various media to gather together. A documentary of the Anti-Japan-US Security Treaty struggle of 1960, “Document 6.15” (61), was screened at the memorial assembly for Michiko Kanba, who was killed at the demonstration in front of the Diet Building. It was a pioneering experiment of ‘intermedia’ in Japan which showed symbolic close-up images of Kanbara along with the scenes re-enacting police brutality, meanwhile two completely different soundtracks were played together, slide projections of paintings were going on, and a live happening was taking place at the venue. Jonouchi subsequently produced “Document LSD” (62), documenting a public LSD experiment using himself as the object; “Hi Red Center Shelter Plan” (64), that was about an art event at the Imperial Hotel; “WOLS”(65), consisting of fragments of a painting by WOLS, which were put together through in-camera editing; “Hijikata Tatsumi,” which shot the stage of Tatsumi Hijikata frame by frame. Towards the 70’s Anti-Japan-US Security Treaty Struggle, he continued to document the student uprising, while successively producing the “Gewaltopia series” including “Hakusan Street by Nihon University [Nichidai Hakusan-dori]”(68), “The Mass Collective Bargaining at Nihon University” (68), “Gewaltopia Trailer” (69), and “Shinjuku Station” (74). By including live performances which created improvised sounds and editing the films differently for each screening, and thus negating the idea of film as being complete, repeatable, and consumable — Jonouchi pursued ‘cinematic revolution.

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