prog: 1848

Katsu Kanai

Kanai Katsu is an unusual and endearing filmmaker who deserves discovery. Born in 1936, his career parallels that of many independent Japanese filmmakers, but he always marked currents that he crossed with a truly independent and always offset approach, which makes his work quite obscure and little known. He has a long career behind him, but his personal filmography amounts to about 6 hours of movies!
He started as a cameraman for the studios, and then continued his career as a freelancer. In 1968, he founded his own company to produce, develop and disseminate his "trilogy of the smiling Milky Way" ("The Desert Archipelago" in 1969, "Good-bye" in 1971 and "The Kingdom" in 1973). He likes to use and shake up the young codes of the "Japanese new wave" and artistic movements such as street theatre and performance, already embedded in a social and stylistic movement of contestation. It explores political "hot" topics but adds layers of symbolism and detours that cover their tracks and leave the audience puzzled. Kanai does not hesitate to mix his own life into his fictions and claims to work with the unconscious, which guarantees surprising narrative developments and outstanding images! Not to mention his taste for the grotesque and his offbeat sense of humour. His films are rich, sometimes confusing and certainly indescribable. Still, they leave the viewer with an impression and, 40 years later, they still surprise. After his trilogy, Kanai continued his career as a producer for television and directed some shorts. More recently, the advent of video and editing on computer has allowed him to work more freely. He films himself at home and makes some funny little mysterious movies of which we present an example, "Super-Documentary: The Avant -Garde Senjutsu".
We are pleased to welcome Katsu Kanai for an evening during which we will alternate projections and discussion.

In collaboration with the Lausanne Underground Film Festival

12.10 > 20:00

5€ / 3,5€ (soirée / avond)

The Desert Archipelago

無人列島 (Mujin rettō)

Katsu Kanai, 1969, JP, 35mm > video, ov st ang, 55

"The Desert Archipelago" traces the journey of a man through an allegory of post-war Japanese society and confronts his trauma. One must read in these outrageous misadventures the personal feelings of Kanai, who provides a pessimistic portrait of his time. The main character is a troubled young man who lives in a monastery where he is oppressed by sadistic nuns. When he manages to escape their grasp, his battle really begins. He is alone in the world and faces hostility which comes as much from outside as inside. His true identity reappears systematically as offspring who persecute him. To top it all, he is pursued by a vengeful nun with a machine gun...
He meets some fabulous figures, but the society he encounters is almost devoid of
humans. A nightmarish emotional desert in which he has no control, he meets only
indifference or violence, his rebellion is doomed to failure. We will not attempt
anymore to describe this film which, despite a fairly small distribution, aroused at the time a lot of interest in Japan and abroad.

Katsu Kanai, 1971, JP, 16mm > video, ov st ang, 52

With "Good-bye," Kanai continues with his experimentation, while moving towards more formal sobriety. The film begins with a funny and cruel portrait of a young aphasic man trying somehow to find something to eat. He finds himself propelled to Korea after meeting a mysterious woman who is exploring her past. The film then switches to cinema verité, Kanai and his actor browsing Korean streets like in a documentary, stared at by onlookers. Kanai takes the opportunity to become a character in his own movie and is in turn followed by a spy-like photographer, who seems to be particularly interested in him. The subject shifts to the past of the director who tackles, through his personal history, the strained relations between Japan and Korea as well as their common history. Fiction disintegrates, Kanai engages more and more, until the disconcerting finale.

Super-Documentary : The Avant-Garde Senjutsu

スーパードキュメンタリー:前衛仙術 (Zenei senjutsu)

Katsu Kanai, 2003, JP, video, ov st ang, 33

Feeling old age come and knowing that it is impossible to compete with young people in some areas, the alter-ego of Kanai, Katsumaru is determined not to mope but to develop special powers adapted to the 21st century such an avant-garde mystique. He explains his theory, trains day and night and performs miracles in front of the camera. He also introduces his wife, appearing thanks to his magic. Drawing his forces from nature, he exercises its powers on his environment. Oh, funky funky...


Junzo Suzuki

Musician / singer / character of the noise psychedelic scene of Tokyo, with a typical melancholy-psychedelic world of the Japanese scene.
An explosion of guitar fuzz and ballads full of echoes of Japanese blues.

12.10 > 23:30

lang: en
id_rubrique: 1867
prog: 1848
pos: aval