The 18th National Cultural Festival “YAMAGATA 2003” Documentary Festival

Program 2
Four Major Visual Creators Buck Up Yamagata!

Screenings of works by the Filmmaking Workshop lecturers.

Murayama Kyoichiro: Coordinator (Film Critic)

-Born in 1947. Writes reviews for film journals and newspapers including the Nihon Keizai Shimbun. Teaches at universities and professional schools, including Musashino Art University and the Image Forum Institute of Moving Image. His books and translations include The Story of One-Hundred-Year Film: French Film, Theater and Film, The Complete World History of Film, and Loach on Loach. Serves on the Pre-selection Committee for the YIDFF International Competition.


Kanai Katsu: Visual Artist

-Born in Kanagawa Prefecture to a farming family in 1936. After working under Takahashi Michio and others at the Daiei Tokyo film studio, became freelance film director and established Kanai Productions in 1968. In 1969 presented his directorial debut, Deserted Island, awarded the grand prize at the Nyon International Film Festival. Independently produced and screened Smiling Milky Way Trilogy. Since then, has directed television documentary programs and made four films, including Dream Runs and Time Blows Like the Wind.

- Main work: Deserted Island

1969 / B&W / 16mm / 56 min

I aimed at creating a new visual construction, structured like a rope intertwining my own experiences and fantasies with post-war history. The main character Hidekuni represents myself and personifies the nation, and I hope you get a sense of “this world as a nightmare” from the friction between the individual and social solidarity.

Most recent work: Super Documentary Avant-Garde Magic

- 2003 / Color / Video / 33 min

Visual artist Kanai Katsu documents the everyday life of his alter ego, Kanai Katsumaru. Depressed by his loss of vitality, the elderly Katsumaru trains himself to conquer youth and performs various miracles using homemade “avant-garde magic.” These miracles are not just sleight of hand, so be sure to watch closely.


Kato Itaru: Visual Artist

-Born in Tsuruoka City, Yamagata Prefecture in 1958. Associate professor at Tohoku University of Art & Design. In 1977 entered the Department of Humanities, Wako University and concurrently studied visual art during the inaugural year at the Image Forum Institute of the Moving Image. Film and video productions include Fade Out, Go-round, Zero-TV, and Sparkling (prize winner at Retina ’91 in Hungary). Has been involved with numerous creative projects, including independent FM stations and installations. Doc Schools Symposium

Main works:
- Fade Out / 1978 / 3 min
Fade Out II / 1980 / 8 min
Go-round / 1981 / 8 min
Suspension Bridge / 1983 / 8 min
Focusing / 1984 / 5 min
Wiper / 1985 / 7 min
Washer / 1987 / 10 min
Melt Down / 1988 / 13 min
Zero-TV / 1989 / 8 min
Sparkling / 1991 / 10 min

Fade Out was Kato’s first 16mm piece, and was presented at the 100 Feet Film Festival in 1978 while he was still a student. Ten experimental shorts will be screened. The program includes Sparkling, which focuses on Gulf War media coverage in 1991. The films evoke a gentle stream of consciousness moving from the experimental to the “documental.”

- Most recent work: Kaiseki Cuisine

2002 / Color / Video / 16 min / Co-dir: Sakurai Atsushi

This collaboration with Kyoto-based visual artist Sakurai Atsushi focuses on “food.” Sakurai obsessively examines the vast quantity of food additives that pass through our bodies everyday, and Kato dissects the richness and poverty of the bento box lunches sold at convenience stores.

The 18th National Cultural Festival “YAMAGATA 2003” Documentary Festival | Program 1: Documentaries from Yamagata | Program 2: Four Major Visual Creators Buck Up Yamagata! | Program 3: Japanese Panorama