This tribute to the radical Japanese writer-director Masao Adachi is the first in a series of documentaries that Philippe Grandrieux wants to dedicate to deeply political filmmakers. For decades, the eccentric Adachi was a member of the extremist Japanese Red Army.
French director Philippe Grandrieux (Sombre, 1999; A Lake, 2009) wants to make a series of portraits of politically committed filmmakers. His film about Japanese avant-gardist Masao Adachi (1939) is the first in this series.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Adachi was a prominent film critic and underground filmmaker, with experimental films such as Sain (1963) to his name. He often collaborated with his contemporary and ally Nagisa Oshima, wrote scripts for Koji Wakamatsu and made films in the pink genre.
Disappointment with the political direction of Japan made him join the the extreme left-wing Japanese Red Army in the early 1970s and he started making films in Beirut.
Grandieux engages in sometimes cryptic conversations with him about film, art and politics and films him in his characteristic style: sometimes out of focus, sometimes under or over- exposed. With a few clips from Adachi’s work, such as The Red Army/PFLP: Declaration of World War from 1971. –IFFR
Philippe Jesus Grandrieux is a French film director born in 1954.
He studied movies at the INSAS (Institut National Supérieur des Arts du Spectacle) in Brussels and started his career as a moviemaker by shooting fictional films and documentaries. Grandrieux then worked as an experimental filmmaker in Belgium where he exhibited his video works at local museums. Since the eighties, he has been working in collaboration with the French Institut National de l’Audiovisuel (INA) where he has been inventing new cinematographic forms and formats that put into question central notions in film writing: for instance the notions of documentary, information and film essay. In 1990, he created the film research lab “Live” which produced one hour long sequences by Thierry Kuntzel, Robert Kramer and Robert Frank. He also taught movies from time to time at la FEMIS (Fondation Européenne pour les Métiers de l’Image et du Son) and at l’Ecole à l’Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts (Paris… read more
It takes a little while to adjust to a Grandrieux documentary of sorts, rather than a feature. This is mostly due to this film's aural-visuals being far less irate and sensory compared to his previous work, but once you acclimatise, the result is surprisingly intimate, political and gorgeous... seriously gorgeous.
Two talks, a series at Anthology, a presentation at Microscope Gallery and an ongoing series of films on radical filmmakers.
Overviews of the Museum of the Moving Image series: 13 features and seven shorts, nearly all of them New York premieres.