Tohoku University of Art and Design, Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research Project

Tohoku University of Art and Design is now in the last year of a threeyear Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research Project on a “conservation, restoration and archival storage/retrieval system for alternative cinema.” Retrieved from the original 16mm films during the course of this project, this program will feature the premiere of the digitized version of the Mr. O series directed by Nagano Chiaki, in addition to symposiums, a workshop, and a dance performance entitled About Kazuo Ohno. The following programs are all free of admission.

Mr. O Series: Trilogy

Withdrawing from the stage beginning in the end of the 1960s and into the 1970s, Ohno Kazuo joined with documentary director Nagano Chiaki to begin making films. The result was the trilogy Portrait of Mr. O (1969), Mandala of Mr. O (1971), and Mr. O’s Book of the Dead (1973). Pioneering works in international dance history from a collaboration between a dancer who never stopped experimenting and a filmmaker with a relentless gaze.

Portrait of Mr. O

(O shi no shozo)

JAPAN / 1969 / No Dialogue / B&W / Digital File (Original: 16mm) / 65 min

Director: Nagano Chiaki
Cast: Ohno Kazuo

Shot in and around the home of Ohno Kazuo in Hodogaya, Yokohama, as well as at his practice space, and in the boiler room of the school where he worked. The daily life of Ohno, who said that the daily life was the “teacher” of dance, becomes the setting of the film. The music is also played by Ohno himself.

Post-screening talk: Mizohata Toshio (Dance Archive)

Mandala of Mr. O

(O shi no mandara yugyo muge)

JAPAN / 1971 / No Dialogue / B&W / Digital File (Original: 16mm) / 122 min

Director: Nagano Chiaki
Art Director: Tanigawa Koichi
Cast: Ohno Kazuo, Kato Kei, Nakamura Moritsuna, Onodera Atsuko

Shot in Ohno’s practice space, as well as in Kashozan (Gunma Prefecture) and Sarushima (Kanagawa Prefecture). Kato Kei, Nakamura Moritsuna, and Onodera Atsuko are among the students of his who are also featured. While the first film, Portrait of Mr. O, is a portrait, Mandala of Mr. O examines something more internal.

Mr. O’s Book of the Dead

(O shi no shisha no sho)

JAPAN / 1973 / No Dialogue / Color / Digital File (Original: 16mm) / 88 min

Director: Nagano Chiaki
Cast: Ohno Kazuo, Nakamura Moritsuna, Takai Tomiko, Kato Kei, Onodera Atsuko, Hideshima Minoru, Uesugi Mitsuyo, Yoseyama Kan

The director relates that Portrait led him to Mandala, and then to the series’ final revival in Book of the Dead. Featuring Takai Tomiko, Uesugi Mitsuyo and other research students at the Ohno Kazuo Dance Studio. Partly shot in Ohno’s hometown in Hokkaido.

About Kazuo Ohno (dance performance)

The late Ohno Kazuo was a legendary butoh dancer whose performance was described as “the dance of the soul.” Kawaguchi Takao watched the form of his work in video recordings to fully copy and relive it. What kind of soul can be found here? Premiered in 2013, Kawaguchi has since toured the performance to thirty-fi ve cities around the world, to great acclaim. This is the long-awaited Yamagata premiere.

Date and Time: Monday October 14th 19:00–20:30
Venue: Yamagata Manabikan 3F
Performed by: Kawaguchi Takao

* Limited to 50 people. Advanced reservation is required. (Admission Free)

Symposium Toward the Establishment of a New Creative City Base

Yamagata City, which was certifi ed two years ago as city of fi lm in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, has renovated the Yamagata Manabikan—a venue which stands on the grounds of the former Daiichi Elementary School—in order to build a facility that can be a base for the newly-designated Creative City. But what should a facility suitable for a Creative City of Film look like? This symposium seeks to explore the possibilities, centering on the idea of “archive.”

Date and Time: October 13 (Sun) 13:00–15:30
Venue: Yamagata Manabikan 1F
*No simultaneous English interpretation is available for this event.
Okajima Hisashi (National Film Archive of Japan), Ishihara Kae (Film Preservation Society), Makiya Chikara (Okinawa Archives Laboratory)
Moderator: Kato Itaru (Professor at Tohoku University of Art & Design)

Symposium The Time-Space of Images Towards a Multi-faceted Film Archive 2

To shoot, edit, and screen a fi lm . . . That is, a certain period of time = a record of an event = preservation (an archive), and of course, also = a creative act. We will attempt to deepen the discussion around the relationship between creation and preservation (recording) from various perspectives.

Date and Time: October 12 (Sat) 10:30–13:00
Venue: Yamagata Museum of Art 2
Aribam Syam Sharma (Filmmaker), Tarun Bhartiya (Filmmaker), John Torres (Filmmaker), Tochigi Akira (Film archivist)
Moderator: Kitakoji Takashi (Film critic, Professor at Kyoto University of Art and Design)

16mm Film Digitization Workshop Making it Easier to Scan Film

One member of the research project team, Baba Kazuyuki of Mejiro University, developed a sprocketless low-cost fi lm scanner which can capture images frame by frame without causing any damage to the fi lm. In this workshop participants practice digitizing old 16mm films.

Date and Time: October 13 (Sun) 16:00–17:30
Venue: Yamagata Manabikan 1F