PROGRAM B resurrecting memory
Memory is a recurring word in Robert Frank’s films. In the present, a friend tries to erase the word MEMORY painted onto a cloudy mirror, and cannot easily do so. Memories of “me” arise from time accumulated in well lived-in rooms and familiar views from windows. Trying to erase MEMORY, we end up with ME.
In Kawase Naomi’s personal documentaries also, figures of loved ones, their voice and speech echo with private memories. In her new film Shadow, the filmmaker creates a fictional interplay between an actress and her cinematographer Yamazaki Yutaka (Shara, Nobody Knows) to recreate the eternal father figure rooted deeply in her filmography. The presence of a second camera that films the scene shifts the film’s focus to the director’s subjective. By making the ME of MEMORY apparent, she emphasizes the self-reflexive characteristic of personal filmmaking.
- USA / 1994 / Silent film / Color, B&W / Video / 16 min
USA / 1996 / English / Color / 35mm / 24 min
• For both films
Director, Photography, Sound: Robert Frank
Editing: Robert Frank, Laura Israel
Source: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Renowned Swiss-born photographer Robert Frank has been making films since the 1950s. Silent film moving pictures uses photos, found footage and projected images to capture the fragmentary nature of the filmed image. In the present, intimate footage sets into relief the filmmaker’s sense of loss and grief at having lost loved ones.
Born 1924 in Zürich, Robert Frank emigrated to the United States in his 20s, where he joined the Beat movement. His album of photos The Americans (1958) is now legendary. He has made over twenty films including Pull My Daisy (1959), which Jack Kerouac wrote text for, and the fiction film Candy Mountain (1987).
JAPAN / 2004 / Japanese / Color / Video / 26 min
Director: Kawase Naomi
Photography: Yamazaki Yutaka, Nakano Hideyo
Sound: Mori Eiji
Editing: Anraku Shotaro
Production: Naito Yuko, Kyota Mitsuhiro
Producer, Executive Producer: Asano Hirotaka
Production Cooperation: Sent, Kumie
Production Companies: Moving Pictures Japan, T-Artist
Kawase Naomi, whose work has consistently featured an absent father figure, meets “him” through the body of an actress. A critique on the personal film genre, as the staged situation reveals real emotions and subjectivity.
Born 1969 in Nara Prefecture, Kawase Naomi is renowned internationally for early personal films such as Embracing (1992) and Katatsumori (1994), both of which screened at YIDFF ’95. Her lengthy filmography includes Suzaku (1996), which won the Camera d’Or at Cannes; The Weald (1997, screened at YIDFF ’97); Letter from a Yellow Cherry Blossom (2002); and Shara (2003). She participated as a juror of New Asian Currents at YIDFF 2003.