Japanese experimental films available to Programmers

Joss Winn edq39077
Thu Jan 21 03:06:29 EST 1999

Dear KineJapan members,

I have recently been sent about 40 preview tapes (often with several films
on each tape) of recent Japanese experimental films.  Onishi Kenji, a
filmmaker I was introduced to over the New Year break, has been running a
regular venue in Tokyo for three years, called CINEMA TRAIN and also acts
as an informal distributor for many of the films he shows (some of you know
this already-sorry).  Kenji is often invited to show his films at festivals
here in Japan and is keen to have his work shown outside of Japan
(Millenium did show something a couple of years back-if anyone can tell me
more about those screenings I'd be grateful) .  Besides Kenji's own films
(of which there are over 100 on 8mm and 16mm), he also sent many other
films by Japanese artists.

Due to having started EIGA ARTS, several programmers from the States have
contacted me asking for Japanese entries to their festivals and guest
programme's curated but until now, I was waiting in anticipation of
receiving work for EIGA ARTS which I could recommend.  I imagined a slow
stream of work through my letter box and not two large parcels at my door,
but for putting programmes together, having so much to preview together is
certainly a bonus.

So far I have watched about ten hours of films, mostly Super 8mm.  There is
a lot of 16mm work too.  The films are as challenging and stimulating as I
had hoped for.  So, in collaboration with Onishi-san (I consider myself
merely the ecstatic middle-man, I would be happy to try to advise anyone
interested in showing Japanese experimental films.  Once I have  some
requests, I will get in touch with him again and ask about availability of
prints, prices (in my experience next to nothing) and a way to organise the
distribution.  If any programmers have anything specific in mind, please
feel free to ask.

I hope no-one is sick of my recent posts concerning the Japanese
experimental scene. I know there are others on this list who know much more
than I do and I'm sure my naivity shines through, but I am learning. If you
would prefer, I could create an EIGA ARTS mailing list.  Please contact me
to be put on that list. And if anyone can add any more to my rather bare
posts concerning the experimental scene here (which does seem to be very
active), I'd be very interested.

Thanks to CINEMA TRAIN's generosity, I am pleased to say that providing a
few people show up every month, EIGA ARTS is now set to run for some time
showing a mixture of foreign and Japanese experimental film an video.  All
submissions welcome.

Finally, if anyone is interested in experimental/avant-garde/underground
film, may I suggest you subscribe to the FRAMEWORKS discussion list Details
can be found at <http://www.sirius.com/~sstark>.  It is very active and
includes a few hundred artists, programmers, reviewers and scholars mostly
from the USA and Europe.  I know people on that list are very interested in
learning about the  Japanese scene and it gets lonely being the only person
in Japan writing to it....!


Joss Winn
1217 Shinden

Tel. (81)-(0)-(952)68-4722

More information about the KineJapan mailing list