Hachimiri Madness! Filmseries: "Isolation of 1/880000" and "Tokyo Cabbageman K"

  • 05 May 2017
  • 9:00 PM
  • Harvard Film Archive, 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Friday, May 5 at 9:00PM

     Harvard Film Archive, 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Isolation of 1/880000
(1/880000 no Kodoku)

Directed by Sogo Ishii
Japan 1977, DCP, color, 43 min. Japanese with English subtitles

An elegiac ode to a loner who finds it difficult to fit in and the inevitable eruption of his frustration, Isolation of 1/880000 tells the story of Takemitsu, a disabled young man caught in the “examination hell” of trying to get into one of Japan’s top universities. Director Sogo Ishii (now renamed as Gakuryu Ishii) was the original 8mm punk, whose works expressed unhinged energy and made speed, intensity and rebellion their stylistic and thematic center, carrying over into his later 16mm and 35mm films such as Crazy Thunder Road and Crazy Family. In contrast, Isolation prefigures the more ethereal aesthetic of his big budget 1990s films.

Tokyo Cabbageman K
(Tokyo Hakusai Kan-K-sha)

Directed by Akira Ogata
Japan 1980, DCP, color, 59 min. Japanese with English subtitles

The jishu film scene was an incredibly networked community, and the legendary Tokyo Cabbageman K stands as a good example. Ishii collaborator Akira Ogata—now a well-known commercial film director in his own right—shot this story of nightmarish transformation in direct reference to Kafka’s The Metamorphosis with Ishii and others working on the set. When K awakens and finds himself partially transformed into a cabbage, he must come to terms with his new state and how it puts him at the center of a media storm and unsolicited desires. The film features one of the most famous soundtracks in jishu film history.

Film descriptions by Alexander Zahlten. 

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