(Den-en ni shisu, 1974)
By Hariu Ichiro
Typically, images and photographs serve as the base for a commanding view of several objects as well as the space that surrounds them, which is to say that they occupy a comprehensive position. Words, in contrast, constitute only a partial essence of an individual object and, as Saussure has claimed, communicate according to a linear sequence. As such they are not able to form a complete narrative unless several narratives are woven together. However, in Terayama's works these two elements are continually confused in a characteristic form. In his tanka, an image swollen with intense emotion is suddenly interrupted and collides with yet another intense image that has transcended time and space. Alternatively, two images are freely displaced. In his theater, stereotypical images doused in folk psychology along with words soaked with emotion, such as delirious nonsense or magical spells, are pulled together into an assemblage. As the established meanings are eviscerated and the audience is assaulted with violence like bullets. In his films, and particularly in Pastoral, after differentiating the links between images from the flow of the dialogue into a strict duality, the dialogue hints at desires hidden behind the discourse (the statements) and the images unfold psychoanalytically toward the root of desire. Furthermore, when both are linked up in order to construct a plot the scene changes, an uncanny image emerges, and the flow breaks off completely.