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23rd Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Ai (Love)
Ai (Love)
Ai (Love)
Ai (Love)

Ai (Love)

director: Takahiko Iimura
original title: Ai (Love)
country: Japan
year: 1962
running time: 10 min.

synopsis

The body and sensibility are celebrated by the renowned Japanese avant-garde artist with a poetic montage of the details of muscle and tissue movements, irritating glances at the crevices and vacant lots. In the spirit of abstract documentarism and accompanied by certain music from Yoko Ono, the skin surfaces touch each other in rhythmically composed approximations of crinkles and crumpling.

biography

Japanese New York artist Iimura Takahiko (1937) is a pioneer of experimental film and video in the US and Japan. He has been working with film since the early 1960s, during which time he placed emphasis on pictorial lyricism and poetry. For decades, he has been creating video art and creating structural imagery and conceptual videos. Visitors of the Ji.hlava Festival may have seen his film Pacific Ocean (1971). 

more about film

director: Takahiko Iimura

other films in the section

Sexual Meditation: #1 Motel
This material experiment and a film avant-garde classic uses both physical and chemical interferences with the film stock, creating a parallel between the shown (human) body and the (celluloid) body of the 8-mm film in the situation of a single-occupied hotel room.
personal program

Sexual Meditation: #1 Motel

Stan Brakhage
United States / 1970 / 7 min.
section: Fascinations: Eroticism
Czech Premiere
Gilette o Juliette
The intensities of physical experience and mental passion are reflected in physical and metaphorical splices of cultural, political and personal mythologies. In intimate scenes of transforming photographs into food or masturbation with a razor blade, the image and body become the subject of borderline desire, injury, disruption and harm.
personal program

Gilette o Juliette

Sirio Luginbülh
France / 1978 / 15 min.
section: Fascinations: Eroticism
Central European Premiere
Erotique
This poetic found-footage collage explores how little is needed in order to recognize desire. Through the use of rapid-cut close-ups of the female face and body, sometimes nearly unrecognizable flashes of arms, eyes, and lips, and accompanied by a similarly fragmentary composition of sounds, the film creates a set of pulsating allusions to physical and fantasy delight.
personal program

Erotique

Peter Tscherkassky
Austria / 1982 / 2 min.
section: Fascinations: Eroticism
Czech Premiere
Return to Reason
The magnum opus of Dadaist film celebrates the photogenics of discreet objects, where among the captured objects, their mobile rayograms, and engaging asymmetrical shadows, we see a shot of the naked body of Kiki from Montparnassus, muse of the entire interwar artistic generation in Paris, who becomes a graceful projection surface for the penetration of light through the window in a perfect geometry of desire.
personal program

Return to Reason

Man Ray
France / 1923 / 3 min.
section: Fascinations: Eroticism
Geography of the body
The wrinkles and curves of a naked female and male body, shot from unexpected angles through a magnifying glass, provoke an associative stream of commentary by British poet George Barker, whose ornamental tongue wrapped with a raw gaze of the skin is concluded by Aristophanes's exclamation: "The desire and pursuit of the whole is called love."
personal program

Geography of the body

Willard Maas
United States / 1943 / 7 min.
section: Fascinations: Eroticism
East European Premiere
Fireworks
This classic example of experimental and queer cinema weaves together a sadomasochistic fantasy of a violent conflict between the main protagonist and a group of well-built sailors. The film’s director, appearing in the role of the young man, explores desire and the imagination, supplementing sexual motifs with references to the conservative American dream shortly after the Second World War.
personal program

Fireworks

Kenneth Anger
United States / 1947 / 14 min.
section: Fascinations: Eroticism
Czech Premiere
The Mechanics of Love
A controversial film for its time that transforms the act of sex into a fragile composition of shots of objects from the lovers' bedroom and the everyday artifacts that resemble it in form, movement and appearance. The playfully symbolic, rhythmic collage is complemented by a poetic commentary by photographer, composer and art critic John Gruen.
personal program

The Mechanics of Love

Willard Maas, Ben Moore
United States / 1955 / 7 min.
section: Fascinations: Eroticism
East European Premiere
Baby Doll
New York go-go dancers Ferne and Irene are preparing to perform and talk about their work. In a witty and empathetic observation, they reflect on their experience, their own dignity and the transformation of the perception of public behavior, which was more of an art form than a utilitarian service.
personal program

Baby Doll

Tessa Hughes-Freeland
United Kingdom / 1982 / 5 min.
section: Fascinations: Eroticism
Czech Premiere
Removed
In her collage of pornographic films from the 1970s, Uman uses white paint and nail polish remover to erase the actresses. The blank spots in the shape of the female bodies emphasize and critique their position within the filmed act of sex and seduction, ironically reducing the men to cheap gazes and possessive physical contact.
personal program

Removed

Naomi Uman
United States, Mexico / 1999 / 7 min.
section: Fascinations: Eroticism
Czech Premiere
Flaming creatures
This legendary film on the free poetics of the body works with the DIY aesthetic, sprightly staging, performances, and humor. It transgressively refers to the approaches of melodrama and burlesque which Smith uses to create an unconventional and - for the period - radical depiction of sex. For its erotic scenes, it was banned in many countries, and in the United States it ignited a debate on censorship.
personal program

Flaming creatures

Jack Smith
United States / 1963 / 45 min.
section: Fascinations: Eroticism
Czech Premiere
Of Special Merit
A radical political gesture criticizing the new law on film funding in Germany, which included a clause on "immorality" that shook the film community into a sharp debate about whether or not to adopt the film at the Oberhausen festival. The initiator of the law is represented by a talking penis and manifestations of political propagation or servility towards power are made ironic through masturbation between the projected images.
personal program

Of Special Merit

Hellmuth Costard
German Democratic Republic / 1968 / 11 min.
section: Fascinations: Eroticism
Czech Premiere
Fuses
A classic work of avant-garde cinema, in which the intimacy of a sensual experience meets the materiality of the medium in a spontaneously poetic celebration of physical existence. The filmmaker utilizes burning, painting, and drawing on the film stock, modifying the speed of shots, and layering multiple exposures in a non-narrative structure of scenes from nature and sexual scenes in which the filmmaker performs with her partner.
personal program

Fuses

Carolee Schneemann
United States / 1967 / 30 min.
section: Fascinations: Eroticism
Czech Premiere
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