DECONSTRUCTING JAPAN – The Experimental Videos of Toshio Matsumoto

by JC Gonzo

connection

In 1969 Toshio Matsumoto broke new ground with Funeral Parade of Roses, an experimental retelling of Oedipus with Tokyo’s queer underground as a backdrop. The hallucinatory, disjointed staple of Japan’s New Wave notably influenced Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. While Matsumoto’s career would only yield him a small handful of full-length features, he was a prolific video artist, made numerous avant-garde shorts and multi-media projects, and released photographic monographs. He often explored the structural elements of both film and video by manipulating the mediums in a self-reflexive manner. Nature and architecture are rearranged through interrelating slicing effects and camera movements, creating new structural elements or accentuating those existing. Occasionally we’ll find stroboscopic effects and surreal colorization to heighten the atmosphere. Take a look at some examples of his video work from the early 80’s, with music from Yasuke Inagaki:

Shift (1982)

 

Connection (1981)

http://youtu.be/RUoq1oXZYyw

 

Relation (1982)

http://youtu.be/O7Jh3zbCd0w

 

Bonus:

Check out Matsumoto earlier, filmic work of vibrantly hypnotic psychedelia.

Atman (1975)

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