Ito Takashi is 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 Spacy 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. We are now presenting the first European retrospective of Ito Takashi’s work in more than 10 years.
1, 2 + 3 May
In little more than a decade, filmmaker and artist Erkka Nissinen has produced a body of work that has no equal in the cinema of these years: absurd, grotesque, bizarre, satirical. Whether it’s The Social Construction of Reality (2005) or Material Conditions of Inner Spaces (2014, in Oberhausen 2014), Nissinen usually appears in his own works, enacting the utter madness of a world that puts too much trust in concepts and formats.
William Raban’s 3-screen film Diagonal (1973) was first presented at Oberhausen in 1975. Four decades later Diagonal returns to Oberhausen as part of three programmes celebrating the lifetime’s work of one of Britain’s leading post-war experimental filmmakers. Raban’s work across expanded and documentary film, performance and installation expresses his unrelenting desire for a “reflexive cinema” – a cinema that structures self-awareness, that, in his words, “interrogates the faculties of perception and thought”. This presentation will provide a rare opportunity to view little-seen early time-lapse films as well as more recent documentaries.
3, 4 + 5 May
Chicago-based Jennifer Reeder has made an indelible mark as a filmmaker, visual artist, and feminist provocateur. The Profile surveys her singular career, from the raucous and irreverent White Trash Girl series (1996-1997) to the more intimate explorations of identity and relationships in her narrative work. Reeder’s stories of trauma and resilience are woven throughout with pop culture references. In her strange but familiar worlds, Reeder captures and often conflates the angst and insecurities of youth and adulthood. Oberhausen has featured Reeder’s films in a number of programmes over the years including, most recently, A Million Miles Away (2014).
1 + 2 May
The films of Indian filmmaker Vipin Vijay elude all traditional genre definitions – in his works experimental film, documentary, essay, fiction all merge into one. His films are about the flow of images or thoughts, about transitions and transformations; about temple oracles (Kshurasyadhara, 2001) or toxicology and philosophy (Vishaparvam, 2012, in Oberhausen 2013). Oberhausen is presenting the first comprehensive retrospective of his work in Europe.
2 + 4 May