Mr O's Book of the Dead (15*)

Part of: Three Looks with Trajal Harrell

Photo of scene from Mr O's Book of the Dead film featuring a group of men in tribal makeup laughing

Chiaki Nagano directs this experimental film, in which choreographer Kazuo Ohno leads dancers through a succession of surreal landscapes.

With Tatsumi Hijikata, Kazuo Ohno was the co-founder of the contemporary Japanese style of dance known as butoh (“the dance of utter darkness”),  and whose work has had a profound influence on of the choreographer Trajal Harrell over the last few years.

Mr O’s Book of the Dead is the last of a trilogy of experimental films Ohno made with director Chiaki Nagano during a period in which he had retired from public performance, and just before he began touring the world as a solo dancer with his celebrated work Admiring La Argentina.

In the film, Ohno leads a troupe of strangely dressed, made-up and gesticulating dancers through a succession of landscapes alternately lush, desolate and surreal.

Japan 1973 Dir Chiaki Nagano 90 min

 

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