Japanese film wins at AA Film Fest

Mark Nornes amnornes at umich.edu
Thu Apr 8 10:23:17 EDT 2010

We just enjoyed a typically crazy week of films at the 48th Ann Arbor Film Festival. There were two Japanese filmmakers around. 

Tomonari Nishikawa from Binghamton was a juror and showed his short films, which are single frame shots of urban spaces and very beautiful. I thought Market Street was stunning. 

Daichi Saito of Montreal won the Ken Burns Award for Best of the Festival for Trees of Syntax, Leaves of Axis.  


Trees of Syntax, Leaves of Axis
Daichi Saito 2009
Run time: 10 min. | Film Format: 35mm
The second collaboration, between Saïto and composer/violinist Malcolm Goldstein, who composed and performed for the film the original structured improvisation score, “Hues of the Spectrum.” The film explores familiar landscape imagery Saïto and Goldstein share in their neighbourhood at the foot of Mount-Royal Park in Montréal, Canada. Using the images of maple trees in the park as main visual motif, Saïto creates a film in which the formations of the trees and their subtle interrelation with the space around them act as an agent to transform viewer’s sensorial perception of the space portrayed. Entirely hand-processed by the filmmaker, Trees of Syntax, Leaves of Axis, with the contrapuntal violin by Goldstein, is a poem of vision and sounding that seeks certain perceptual insight and revelation through a syntactical structure based on patterns, variations and repetition.

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