pointligneplan and Japan – Screening at Cinéma GALERIES
Since its creation in 1998, the collective pointligneplan has indexed, diffused and edited films that stand at the crossroads of cinema and contemporary art.
Over the past fifteen years, more than 200 filmmakers have been able to present their work to the public through the collective. This year, pointligneplan and Thalie Art Foundation propose a programme of films created by European artists influenced by Japan, in the context of the exhibition Wabi Sabi Shima. Japan’s influence on French artists seems as alive today as it was during the Japonisme of the Meiji period. From Chris Marker to Sophie Calle, and particularly the generation that brought about Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Pierre Huyghe, Pierre Joseph, Ange Leccia, Philippe Parreno and Marie-Ange Guilleminot, numerous artists have experienced Japanese culture and returned to it throughout their art careers.
Japan’s attraction for these artists seems to lie as much in the country’s hyper-modernity as in a desire to preserve its craftsmanship and its traditions. These French creators are further inspired by the challenge of adequately responding to globalization and the threat it poses to one’s identity. Nearly all of the films presented here were made in Japan at the Villa Kujoyama residency in Kyoto, the Japanese equivalent to the Villa Medici in Rome.
Cinéma des Galeries, Galerie de la Reine, 1000 Bruxelles. Tickets : 8,50€ / Reduced price : 6,50€
Friday 22th of May at 8 pm
Philippe Terrier-Hermann, 1998, video, 10’, 1998, Japanese with English and French subtitles
Executive Partner depicts a telephone con- versation between a Japanese businesswoman and a man on a train. A double static shot mixes the readymade aesthetics of a television sitcom with that of a corporate film, we are left won- dering if we are witnessing the end of a love affair or the beginnings of a financial crisis. A capitalist melodrama..
Mélanie Pavy & Idrissa Guiro, video, 75’, 2013, Japanese with French subtitles
Cendres is a touching journey between France and Japan from the 1960s to today. Directors Mélanie Pavy and Idrissa Guiro follow the jour- ney of Akiko, travelling to deposit an urn contain- ing her mother Kyoko’s ashes in her hometown near Hiroshima. In Akiko’s luggage lies another piece of her heritage: her mother’s private diary along with images from the films she appeared in. The documentary is an intense and delicate account of Akiko’s maiden trip, consisting of a kind of personal diary in itself, that of a Franco- Japanese woman reappropriating her mother’s story as well as her own, seeking in the process to rise from the ashes of grief.
Friday 22th of May at 10 pm
La naissance du monde
Romain Kronenberg, 2009, 14 min, video, international version
“The footage used to make La naissance du monde was taken during my residency at the Villa Kujoyama, perched high in the hills of Kyoto. The film was shot exclusively from the Villa itself. While there, I became a regular ob- server of the spectacle of passing days. I filmed without a film in mind. Later, a desire to build a story out of these images emerged: it is the story of the birth of light, from the near-nothingness of night to the splendour of nature in daylight. This birth of day, inspired by Paul Valéry, can be thought of as the birth of a world in which it might be possible to relive one’s life, to pick it up and project it onto a wider perspective.” R.K.
Île de beauté
Ange Leccia, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, 1996, 70 min, 35 mm, international version
In 1985, a lonely character defined solely by his gaze travels between two islands: Corsica and Japan. Made from a series of 35mm “sub- jective camera” shots by Ange Leccia and later scripted by Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Île de Beauté depicts a gradual shift in perspec- tive that leaves plenty of space for the viewer.
Saturday 23th of May at 8 pm
Aiwa to Zen
Candice Breitz, 2003, 11 min 30 s, vidéo/video, version internationale
“During my first visit to Japan in 2002, I wrote down every Japanese word that I knew. The thin vocabulary of about 150 words that I managed to scrape together had to do almost exclusively with an exotic and imaginary Japan, a consumable one: Japanese cuisine, Japan at war, Japanese pop culture, the Japanese art and fashion worlds, and overwhelmingly, dozens of Japanese brand names. I asked five Japanese speakers to improvise a se- ries of scenes from daily life, using only my primitive foreigner’s Japanese.” C.B.
Christelle Lheureux, 2003-2004, 80, video & live performance, French
“1936: the beginning of talking pictures, the ear- ly days of a relationship between sound, voice, and images. In Kyoto, Mizoguchi is shooting The Sisters of Gion, a geisha story featuring twelve characters. I conserve only the soundtrack from this film, which later becomes the inspiration for a new silent film of the same length, also made in Kyoto. This is the frame for L’expérience préhistorique, composed of twelve inanimate characters devoid of voices and stories. Each screening of the film features a new speaker improvising a new story for the characters, performed live during screenings. Each new inter- pretation has its own story, its own language, its own subjectivity. This film in-progress is soon to be released in DVD format.” C.L.
Saturday 23th of May at 10 pm
Jean-Charles Fitoussi, 2008, 28 min, video, international version
Espoir pour les générations futures
Jean-Charles Fitoussi, 2009, 9 min, video, international version
“Things seen and heard in Japan, swaying in the wind and taken (as they took me) by the camera phone kept in my pocket at all times.” J.-C.F.
Platform #12 Tokyo 148 149
Cédrick Eymenier, 2008, 39′, vidéo, international version, original score by Akira Rabelais, Oren Ambarchi & Taylor Deupree
“Shot and edited between 2002 and 2008, the thirteen successive steps that make up the film series Platform delineate an imaginary trip in the form of a spiral. Here and there along the way, we encounter spaces imbued with the kind of transparency and logistics that Virilio and Baudrillard would have critiqued: negation of experience; simulacra of urbanism dedicated to the indifference of fluent exchange; and enlight- ening scenery, intoxicating and unhinged, where futuristic myths are eschewed as the post-mod- ern city begins to resemble something between an unearthed ant colony and a sand castle.
This long film sequence describes an end- less meandering journey through Tokyo, the camera fixed to the bow of a skytrain winding from one station to the next like a musical wave describing the route’s curves. Reviving a stunning technique in vogue in the early days of cinema, this visual roller coaster ride guides us through breathtaking landscapes of ravines and tun- nels. As this hallucinatory and ghostly journey unfolds, it is as if the flow of time is suspended at each subway stop, and as though nothing is driven further, nor expected. Ultimately, with this immense perspective (several shots were melded into one sequence) – which could mark the uto- pian or destroyed ending of Platform — the city expands from dog to wolf, appearing as a series of still lifes, subsided, zen, and finishing in an in- distinct zone between nature and city, where two gardeners prepare a future lawn by sweeping the ground.” Emeric de Lastens
Sunday 24th of May at 8 pm
Cécile Hartmann, 2006, 9’, vidéo, international version
Two spaces — The Tokyo Stock Exchange and the archipelago’s volcanic craters — move ever closer to each other in swaying and reversible move- ments. Economic fluctuations are bound to seismic events in a constant search for a point of anchor- age and balance. A sense of subdued restlessness emerges from this meeting point. The Japanese word kessoku — with its place in political vocabu- lary — indicates a coalition, or a solidarity.
Christian Merlhiot, 2012, 74 min, japonais sous- titré français
Kentaro has recently left his home town and set- tled in a village close to Kyoto, where he finds work in a dye studio. He performs small favours for the village’s inhabitants and helps farmers with their harvest. Through these encounters and small jobs, he discovers a new way of living and begins to pon- der his role in the community, a place where time passes differently. Then one sunny autumn day, he takes a walk in the forest with Yukiko, a silent and mischievous old woman…
Sunday 24th of May at 10 pm
Focus Shima Shima
Judith Cahen et Masayasu Eguchi, film en cours, French and Japanese with French subtitles
Is our future contaminated? Focus Shima Shima takes the form of a meeting between two filmmakers — one Japanese, the other French — who attempt to clear up certain concerns over invisible contamination. With melancholy and humour, their dialogue traverses Fukushima and Hiroshima, as well as the imaginary cir- cumstances these places inspire. From road movie to experimental science-fiction film, the filmmakers take into account various strata of representations in order to invent other playful and unusual ones.