The Psychotic Cinemas of Sogo/Gakuryu ISHII

  • Sunday, June 9, 2:30 p.m. Mousonturm Studio 1
  • Entrance free
  • Lecture in English

Gakuryu ISHII, aka Sogo ISHII, is usually understood as a pioneer, alongside Shinya TSUKAMOTO or Takashi MIIKE, of Japan's "extreme cinema," a foreign category applied to Japanese films featuring stylized representations of taboo violence and perversity. There is no doubt that even in such early films as the 1976 HIGH SCHOOL PANIC and the 1980 biker documentary CRAZY THUNDER ROAD, ISHII had mastered a hyper-cool, frequently deadpan delivery of punk violence. But, ISHII's work has always demonstrated a simultaneous experimentation with the internal world of the psyche. Relying on visual examples from across ISHII's oeuvre, Jonathan M Hall traces ISHII's activation of psychosis, or rupture from the real. In this sense, Hall argues for the "extremity within" as an organizing principle for ISHII's derangement of narrative, camera, and mise-en-scene. As a kind of meta-montage, the psychotic crisscrosses, and never integrates, ISHII's isolated filmic worlds.

Born in New Jersey, USA. A professor at Pomona College, a nationally prestigious liberal arts college situated in the Los Angeles area, Jonathan M Hall researches, curates, and promotes Asian cinema, especially from Japan, China, and Southeast Asia. Having lived in Japan for more than a decade, Hall has worked in a number of Japan film contexts, including subtitling, interpreting, creation of press materials, and the promotion of Japanese film overseas. He has also worked as a producer for foreign documentaries about Japan. Hall has previously taught at UC Berkeley and the University of Chicago. His co-curated JPEX: Japanese Experimental Film & Video, 1955-now toured seven North American cities in 2004 and 2005. Hall continues to work between Asia and North America and is a passionate promoter of Japanese film in a trans-Pacific context. He offers seminars in translation at both the Tokyo and LA branches of JVTA as a regular guest lecturer.

In cooperation with the Japan Visualmedia Translation Academy (JVTA)

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