Oct. 11 (Sat.) Personal Documentaries Publications / index / Japanese Documentary

15 Days

(18k) Director, Photography, Editing: Suzuki Shiroyasu
1980 / Color / 16mm / 93 min

Since he made the film Impressions of a Sunset ("Nichibotsu no insho," 1975), the independent filmmaker and poet Suzuki Shiroyasu has continued to explore the style of the film diary. In Harvesting the Shadows of Grass ("Kusa no kage o karu," 1977), a work of more than three hours, he reached a real level of achievement in terms of the method of "framed scenery." In his next film, he came up with the method of pointing the camera at himself. For the "15 days" from November 11 to December 3 1979, Suzuki recorded himself for six minutes each day using a camera with audio recording capabilities. This was a daily routine which he drew-up himself. However, for the first few days, we end up viewing him from behind, making weak excuses about his day to day existence being filled with deadlines for magazines and newspapers, moaning about sleeping during the day and working at night, and voicing his regrets about deciding to make the film at all. He shrinks as if cornered by the audience, and whilst we can sense slight variations in his daily sensibility, we are not able to ascertain much more than that. A week passes, and when the first rush has receded, he begins to think about how he should act in front of the camera. At this point we see the sort of results his method can bring. Finally, on the last day, he comes up with his own sense of the direction in which the work should go. With 6 minutes a day, there are some days in which he doesn't have much to say, and others when the time is just not long enough. Occasionally, the sound of the camera running seems to be torturing him or hurrying him along, and at times it even makes us, the audience, feel anxiety: as if we were ourselves being filmed.


Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Organizing Committee