I’d like to see even just one work that—rather than posing the abstract question “What is film?”—sends up the “history” of film in flames as a “former present” and forces me to murmur, “This is film!” I want films to singlemindedly draw viewers to a moment that destabilizes the conceptual framework of films being either “documentary” or “fiction,” a framework that didn’t exist for the Lumière brothers.
These have been my thoughts as an audience member throughout the twenty-year span of the YIDFF, now in its tenth edition, and this year as a juror is no different. Wanting to vividly experience rupture rather than continuity and be awakened in the midst of perplexity rather than being reassured—these thoughts deepen as I ruminate over the memories of irreplaceable friends who have come to Yamagata as jurors and later unfortunately departed from this world.
I am almost too fully aware of the weight of the baton I am inheriting from unforgettable predecessors: Robert Kramer, Edward Yang, Serge Daney, Kudo Eiichi, Yanagisawa Hisao. Happily, at the film festival memory persistently lives as an experience of the present, rather than the past.
Film and literary critic, and scholar of French literature. Born in 1936 in Tokyo, Hasumi started teaching seminars on film history in 1970, at Rikkyo University and the University of Tokyo. From 1997 to 2001 he served as president of the University of Tokyo. The extraordinary breadth of his writings and criticism includes numerous papers in French and Japanese on Flaubert’s novels, Antitheory of the Japanese Language (Chikuma Shobo, Yomiuri Literature Prize Award in 1977), Ozu Yasujiro (Chikuma Shobo, Prix Littéraire for the best book on film translated into French in 1998), Maxime Du Camp: The Invention of Mediocrity (Seidosha, Ministry of Education Prize for Promotion of Arts in 1989), and monographs on and theoretical analyses of contemporary Japanese literature. His extensive writings as a film critic include the Film Lunatics series, as well as publications in overseas journals including Cahiers du cinéma, Cinema, and Trafic in France and Film Comment in the US. Hasumi has served as juror at numerous international film festivals including Venice and Locarno, has edited many publications including the Naruse Mikio catalogue for the San Sebastian International Film Festival in 1998, and has organized retrospectives overseas for Japanese directors. He was awarded the Kawakita Prize in 2007.
Takeshi Kitano, the UnpredictableTakeshi Kitano, L’imprévisible
- FRANCE / 1999 / French, Japanese / Color / Video / 68 min
Director: Jean-Pierre Limosin
Photography: Jean-Marc Fabre, Sakuma Eiichi
Editing: Danielle Anezin, Thierry Denay
Sound: Takizawa Osamu
Mixing: Pascal Rousselle
Appearances: Kitano Takeshi, Hasumi Shigehiko
Producers: Xavier Carniaux, Elisabeth Marliangeas
Production Company: AMIP
Co-production Companies: La Sept-Arte, I.N.A., Office Kitano
Source: Office Kitano
Hasumi Shigehiko interviews internationally acclaimed Kitano Takeshi (Beat Takeshi), who made his startling directorial debut in 1989 with Violent Cop, followed by Boiling Point (1990), Sonatine (1993), Fireworks (1997), and others. Starting with Hasumi’s office at the University of Tokyo, where he was then president, the film proceeds to their conversations, recorded at various locations. Directed by Jean-Pierre Limosin (Tokyo Eyes, 1998) as part of a French contemporary filmmakers series.