Toshio Matsumoto – Experimental Film Works
The weavers of Nishijin (西陣) (1961): The Weavers of Nishijin classically captures the process of Nishijin textile manufacture in rich black and white reminiscent of Kurosawa‘s Seven Samurai era.
The song of stone (Ishi no uta) (1963): While extracting and polishing their blocks of stone, stonecutters used to say “the stone is coming to life”. This paradox provided Matsumoto with the best metaphor for what making a film is all about. In his opinion, filmmakers work images in the same way that stonecutters work stones.
Mothers (母たち) (1967): Documentary about the relationships between mothers and their children.
For My Crushed Right Eye (つぶれかかった右眼のために) (1968): Two chaotic series of images, one for each eye. Hipster living, malformed fetuses, war, arts events and pop culture stands for the material.
Ecstasis (1969): Repetitive abstract experimental film. A bearded man flickers past a hundred times.
Metastasis (1971): Writes Matsumoto, “I used the Erekutoro Karapurosesu (Electro Color Processor), which is mainly used in the field of medicine and engineering, to create moving image textures Metastasis, I was interested in layering images of a simple object and its electronically processed abstraction. The electronic abstract image is manipulated in a certain rhythm, depicting an organic process.”
Mona Lisa (1973): An experimental short film from Toshio Matsumoto featuring Mona Lisa.
Phantom (幻妄) (1975): A psychedelic yoga lesson with some beautiful and bizarre visuals.
Atman (アートマン) (1975): ATMAN is a visual tour-de-force based on the idea of the subject at the centre of the circle created by camera positions (480 such positions). Shooting frame-by-frame the filmmaker set up an increasingly rapid circular motion. ĀTMAN is an early Buddhist deity often connected with destruction; the Japanese aspect is stressed by the devil mask of Hangan, from the Noh, and by using both Noh music and the general principle of acceleration often associated with Noh drama.
White hole (1979): Avant garde/experimental film. A mesmerizing trip through the psychedelic vastness of space.
Ki or Breathing (気 Breathing) (1980): is a spare concoction assembled from slow motion shots of nature and set to a score by the much-acclaimed Tohru Takemitsu.
Expansion (Kakuchou) (1972): Expansion remixes the images of Matsumoto’s Esctasis into an more colourful psychedelic short.
Andy Warhol Re-production (1974): A pretty apt visual representation of Warhol’s philosophy and approach to the world.
Everything visible is empty (Siki soku ze ku) (1975): There’s more to picture than meets the eye in this journey into oriental metaphysical imagery. Starting (in a very Christian manner) with the Word, the film draws an explosion of visible forms, as if a sign of the shattering of shapes in the mundane world. But time is cyclical, of course, and what was once a multitude of sensible realities must eventually return to the Word and, finally, to sheer Color. (Sound of Eye)
Enigma: Nazo (Enigma (謎)) (1978): Enigma is something of a more glamorous version of White Hole, with a wide variety of elaborate textures (often composed of iconographic and religious symbols) converging towards the centre of the screen.
Connection (1981): In Connection, a static shot of the sky with moving clouds is subdivided into regular geometrical regions, which are then individually (and rhythmically) manipulated.
Relation (1982): In Relation, the focus of the viewer’s attention is guided by pointers moving through the screen.
Shift (1982): By cutting up and zoom in on images of facades creates Matsumoto visual effects.
Sway (1985)(揺らぎ スウェイ): Pictures from a Buddhist temple cut up and manipulated.
Engram (1987): Engram is a three-part piece revolving around a few good old ideas such as photos inside of photos, movies inside of movies, photos inside of movies, movies inside of photos, and (even) a film director inside a TV set.
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The weavers of Nishijin (1961)
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