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Japanese Avant-garde and Experimental Film Festival 2021: Bodies at the Barbican

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Time 18:00
Date 16/09/21
Price £12

The theme for this festival edition explores the body and sensation. The 2021 edition is also partly inspired by the Tokyo Olympics, lockdown and the loss of words.

16-22 September.

They'll present a line-up of features and shorts that examine the body triumphant, and the body in crisis, through dance, performance, sport, exercise, and more. For the real buff, read their Manifesto.

Festival Program:

Nanami: The Inferno of First Love + A.I. Mama
Thursday 16 Sept, 6:00pm
Barbican Cinema

An extremely rare 16mm screening of new wave master Susumu Hani’s endlessly inventive web of young love and seedy underworld forces. This screening features an introduction by Jennifer Coates.
More info & book.

Portrait of Mr O + Anma + Rose Color Dance + In Passing
Friday 17 Sept, 6:00pm
Barbican Cinema

This screening features a video introduction by Michael Sakamoto.
The first of our two screenings celebrating butoh co-founders Tatsumi Hijikata and Kazuo Ohno through wildly inventive and highly surreal cinematic works.
More info & book.

Mr O’s Book of the Dead + Navel and A-Bomb + Dual Enframe
Saturday 18 Sept, 3:00pm
Barbican Cinema

Featuring a video introduction by Michael Sakamoto.
Chiaki Nagano and Kazuo Ohno’s trilogy reaches its bewildering and exhilarating conclusion in part two of JAEFF’s butoh screenings.
More info & book.

Boxer + Transparent, the world is.
Saturday 18 Sept, 5:50pm
Barbican, Cinema 1

Featuring an introduction by Julian Ross.
Collapsing the line between mainstream sports drama and formal invention, avant-garde hero Shuji Terayama’s Boxer is arguably the greatest boxing film ever made.
More info & book.


Lovers are Wet
Sat 18 Sept, 8:30pm
Barbican, Cinema 1

Featuring a an introduction by Jasper Sharp.
Smut or art? Join us to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Nikkatsu’s Roman Porno series of pink films with Tatsumi Kumashiro’s existential shag-a-thon, Lovers are Wet.
More info & book.

Panel Discussion: Japan’s Cinematic Body
Sun 19 Sept, 11:00am
Barbican, Cinema 2/3 Beech Street

This panel discussion event brings together historians and academics to contextualise and explore the films and themes of the festival.
More info & book.

Nippon Express Carries the Olympics to Tokyo + Record of a Marathon Runner + Tokyo Story
Sun 22 Sept, 1:20pm
Barbican, Cinema 1

The logistical efforts of putting on the 1964 Olympics are pitted against the Sisyphean loneliness of a long-distance runner.
More info & book.

Tokyo Olympiad
Sun 19 Sept, 4:00pm
Barbican, Cinema 1

Featuring an introduction by Dolores Martinez.
Kon Ichikawa tears up the documentary playbook for this thrilling cinematic record of the 1964 Summer Olympics.
More info & book.

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