We announced a couple of weeks ago that the Zipangu Fest was ready for its second year. Part of what makes the UK-based Japanese film festival unique is their experimental film program. Last year, they hosted “Nippon: Year Zero,” a collection of short films which captured the political and social zeitgeist of ’60s and ’70s Japan. We received the following announcement with details about their “Nippon Re-read Radical Fragments and Abstractions from Japan I and II” program which will be hosted during this year’s festival.
Four films by the leading light of Japan’s contemporary experimental scene, Takashi Makino, will be screened at this year’s Zipangu Fest. Three of Makino’s abstract visual odysseys – with soundtracks by avant garde musicians Jim O’Rourke and Machinefabriek – will be shown at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts as part of a programme entitled Enter the Cosmos, while the fourth will be screened at Zipangu Fest’s benefit night for the Japan disaster fund to be held at Café Oto in Dalston on November 22nd.
Organised by Julian Ross, the benefit night at Café Oto – Nippon Re-read Radical Fragments and Abstractions from Japan I and II – will include experimental works from the late 1960s by Takahiko Iimura and Toshio Matsumoto, as well as recent films by Tomonari Nishikawa and Shiho Kano. The programme was curated by Aily Nash and Nine Eglantine Yamamoto-Masson of Kinema Nippon.
Festival director and head programmer, Jasper Sharp comments: ‘One of the goals we’ve always had with Zipangu Fest is to bring some of the more interesting and challenging stuff from Japan over here and present it in a fun and informative context to bring it to as wide an audience as possible. We’re particularly keen on the more experimental, non-narrative side of Japan’s independent scene, both in film and animation, because it doesn’t really get shown anywhere else. Yet there seems to be a growing audience hungry for something different among UK film-goers, as we noticed last year with the Nippon Year Zero programme of experimental films from the 1960s we presented in collaboration with Close-Up, and Julian Ross’s own seasons he put together over the summer, so it’s great to have him working on this side of the programme. Both events I think will be unforgettable, and if we can raise any money for the disaster relief fund, so much the better.’
The second Zipangu Fest – celebrating the best of cutting edge and avant garde Japanese cinema – will be held at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts from November 18th to 24th, before moving to venues around the UK. The festival will showcase a selection of Japan’s finest features, documentaries, shorts, animation and experimental films.
Full details and descriptions of the films to be screened will be available soon at: http://zipangufest.com.