Oberhausen announces new programme focusing on Ito Takashi

The 61st International Short Film Festival Oberhausen has announced a new programme dedicated to Ito Takashi, one of the most important Japanese experimental filmmakers.

Since his debut film Noh (1977), Ito has created an œuvre of almost 30 films and a singular visual language. He often works with photo sequences, most famously perhaps in the legendary Spacey from 1981, a dizzying rollercoaster ride through an empty gym composed of 700 individual photos. Like many of Ito’s films it is accompanied by a soundtrack by Inagaki Takashi. Ito Takashi doesn’t try to tell stories. “My major intention is to change ordinary, everyday life scenes, and draw the audience (myself) into a vortex of supernatural illusion by the magic of films.” Ito’s unique visual style has been a major influence on the Japanese horror movies of the 1990s.

Oberhausen has screened many of Ito’s films in the past; in 1996, Zone (1995) won a Main Prize in Oberhausen. The 61st International Short Film Festival Oberhausen is now presenting the first European retrospective of Ito Takashi’s work in more than 10 years. Two more works by Ito will be screened in the 2015 Festival programme: His latest work, Saigo no Tenshi (2014) was selected for the International Competition; Box (2011) will be screened in the Theme programme “The Third Image – 3D-Kino as Experiment”.

The other Profile programmes of the 61st International Short Film Festival Oberhausen are dedicated to Erkka Nissinen (Finland), William Raban (Great Britain), Jennifer Reeder (USA) and Vipin Vijay (India). The Ito Takashi Profile replaces the originally announced Mike Hoolboom Profile.

(Pictured: Ghost (Dir, Ito Takashi, Japan, 1984)

14 March 2015, by Laurence Boyce