CAMERA OBSCURA: TOMONARI NISHIKAWA
Wednesday September 30 | 8:00 pm | CGAI | s8cinema.com
Wednesday September 30 | 8:00 pm | CGAI | Get your free ticket here
From 1972 to 1981, Robert Gardner conducted a Boston television series that became a reference and a cult show for the experimental cinema community: Screening Room. The program, which welcomed some of the most relevant avant-garde filmmakers of that time, offered not only in-depth interviews with the guests, but also the opportunity to discover their work. Today, in 2020, Screening Room remains a source of inspiration. Gardner’s legacy, in combination with the spirit of the times and the possibilities brought to us by technological advancement and the internet encouraged us to develop a show that will be broadcast on streaming. Camera Obscura, which also follows the steps of Janine Bazan and André S. Labarthe’s Cinéastes de notre temps, is a creative endeavor – an interpretation of Gardner’s show with a bold aesthetic and in an innovative format in tune with our times. The show, which will bring to the audience an-in detail presentation of the creative processes of a selection of filmmakers, is also an invitation to discover their work, as it will feature chosen excerpts of their creations. The name Camera Obscura is a reference to the optical device that inspired painters and anticipated cinema centuries before its creation – a box-like, unlit construction where a ray of light coming from the outside projects, through a small hole in one of its walls, a moving image that is seen on the surface opposite to the opening. The (S8) aims to be that ray of light, travelling from wave to wave on its way to project its images on the wall of any room in the world.
To reduce the world to its purest forms, using the camera to play with them – a statement that serves as a first introduction to the work of Tomonari Nishikawa, a Japanese filmmaker now based in Binghamton, New York. Nishikawa, who started making films in the early 2000s, has experimented with every photochemical medium available and occasionally explored video. His “documentary” footage of different world locations are brought to us filtered by a pair of eyes with special awareness to the visual essence of the surrounding reality. Nishikawa’s filming techniques and devices include frame-by-frame shooting, still cameras, and, in his more contemplative works, a graphic-based structure or an unusual editing. Nishikawa is one of the filmmakers featured in this episode of Camera Obscura, where we’ll go through his work sharing with you a selection of his pieces and interventions.