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Pastoral Hide and Seek

Shûji Terayama

Terayama’s second feature recapitulates some of the main themes of Throw Away Your Books in more directly personal terms: it’s a film about a film-maker’s re-examination (and attempted revision) of his own childhood. His boyhood self is an unprepossessing lad who lives with his monstrous, widowed mother, fantasises about the desirable girl-next-door, and finds the visiting circus a touchstone for his dreams of escape. With passion, wit and a genuinely engaging charm, Terayama poses the burning question: Does murdering your mother constitute a true liberation? The autobiographical stance and the circus motif have evoked countless comparisons with Fellini, but they’re very wide of the mark: the film isn’t burdened with bombast or rhetoric, but it is rich in (authentically Japanese) poetry, and its modernist approach is challenging in the best and most accessible sense.

Tickets at the door.

Part of our continuing Art Theatre Guild series.

The Art Theatre Guild, was an independent film company that radically transformed Japanese cinema by producing and distributing experimental, transgressive, and genre-shattering films from the early 1960s until the mid-1980s. Free from the structures and conventions of the mainstream Japanese studio system, the underground cinema of the Art Theatre Guild was characterized by its provocative depictions of sex, violence, politics, and social upheaval. The ATG also provided a fresh testing ground for collaboration among filmmakers, composers, dancers, novelists, artists, performance artists, and avant-garde theater companies.

Showing

  • 6/27 | 8:00PM