Zeze Takahisa Retrospective

Alex Zahlten Alex.Zahlten at gmx.de
Thu Aug 12 21:19:03 EDT 2010

Hi everyone,

if you're in Tokyo and don't have your weekend planned out yet: Athene Francais is currently presenting a retrospective of films by Zeze Takahisa, showing a wide range of his work from his early 8 & 16mm films to the Pink films that made him famous as one of the "Shitenno / 4 devils of Pink" and his more mainstream films like Dogstar. 

There are several talk events attached, each pairing Zeze with a different partner in conversation. Today will feature Zeze's longtime script collaborator (and director in his own right) Izuchi Kishu, Saturday will have Aoyama Shinji, I will be talking with Zeze on Monday, Tuesday will have director Katsuya Tomita (Route 20), and Wednesday he will be talking to one of the biggest young talents in Japanese cinema, two-time Yubari Fantastic Film Festival winner Mariko Tetsuya (Yellow Kid).

This retrospective is in a way a continuation of the legendary retrospective on "new auteurism" in Japanese cinema ("Shin Nihon Sakka Shugi Retsuden") held at Athene Francais in 1992/1993, that established the Pink Shitenno (the others are Sato Hisayasu, as a brand name and to a certain degree legitimatized their - often highly experimental but still "Pink" - films. Zeze has proved the only one of the Shitenno that was able to successfully and consistently cross over into mainstream film, and he has been going back and forth between large commercial projects such as Pandemic (=Kansen Retto)and smaller, more personal ones. His latest film, Heaven's Story, that debuted at PIA last month, belongs in the latter category.

Zeze has been widely screened outside of Japan; his film Dream of Garuda was one of the films screened at Rotterdam and Vienna in the mid-1990s that helped establish Pink film internationally as potential film festival fare, with positive and negative side-effects. The film, under the title Koukyuu Soap Tekknikku 4, was scripted by Zeze with Aoyama Shinji and Izuchi Kishu, and will be showing on Saturday. Other fascinating stuff includes his Tokyo x Erotica, a surreal montage of goings-on parallel to the Tianmen Square prostests in 1989 and the Sarin subway attacks, or the visually striking Raigyo.

This is a great chance to see the films of one of the most interesting directors in recent Japanese cinema- and his range is impressive. For those that can spare the time, I definitely recommend going for an entire afternoon and catching several of his films in one run. 


alex at nipponconnection.de

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