Program 9: Intimations of Mortality

A Silent Day (Takashi Ito)

A Silent Day is an appropriately wordless, yet poetic and instinctually cohesive fictionalized autobiographical journal of a young filmmaker who roams through the desolate streets of a suburban city, occasionally acting out her inner demons through a metaphorically soulless, ambiguously inexpressive marionette.

Suicide (Shelly Silver)

A similarly themed video journal of a fictional filmmaker contemplating suicide (albeit superficially), the aimless heroine travels abroad (a theme reminiscent of Chantal Akerman’s expositions of the artist in exile) in order disconnect herself from the emotional attachment of her unresolved past. Alternately humorous, contemplative, and disquieting, Suicide is a mildly engaging and respectable effort, although I find the video maker’s affinity towards terminally ‘cute’ shots of Japan – Pikachu ornaments, Sanrio-inspired window dressing, broadly smiling pop star billboards, and adorable school girls wearing bright yellow hats – a bit complicitous in perpetuating this typically Western curiosity for a particular, idiosyncratic aspect of Japanese culture.

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