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Mr O’s Book of the Dead + Navel and A-Bomb + Dual Enframe (15*)

Japanese Avant-garde & Experimental Film Festival

a man wearing an ugly mask stands topless with a woman behind him

Chiaki Nagano and Kazuo Ohno’s trilogy reaches its bewildering and exhilarating conclusion in part two of JAEFF’s butoh screenings.

We conclude our irresistible stumble through the world of butoh with two more masterpieces showcasing the talents of Tatsumi Hijikata and Kazuo Ohno. Hijikata reflects of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Eikoh Hosoe’s Navel and A-Bomb, whilst Ohno steps into riotous colour in the concluding chapter of Nagano’s Mr O trilogy.   

Mr O’s Book of the Dead is a stunning work of surrealism and choreography that evades written summary. Indeed, according to Ohno: “It is not important to understand what I am doing; perhaps it is better if they don't understand, but just respond to the dance.”

These classic dance films are complemented by Kioto Aoki’s Dual Enframe, which plays with different iterations of “the framing device,” using the camera, the body, the mirror, and a window space.

With a video introduction by Michael Sakamoto.

Japan 1973 Dir Chiaki Nagano 90 min

Japan 1960 Dir Eikoh Hosoe 15 min

Japan 2018 Dir Kioto Aoki 3 min

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Barbican Cinema 2