International film and conference series focuses on Japan

York’s Department of Film is presenting an international conference and film series titled Cinema/Movement that looks at the vibrant and controversial interaction between political action and experimental filmmaking in Japan during the 1960s and 1970s.

Cinema/Movement, organized in part by Professor Sharon Hayashi of York’s Department of Film, runs through Nov. 19 at York University and the University of Toronto and features a number of speakers and films. The conference portion will be held Nov. 15 and 16. 

Left: A clip from the screening of Oe Masanori’s short film program

On Nov. 15, from 2pm to 5pm, in the Nick Mirkopoulos Screening Room, 004 Accolade East, three lecturers will speak about filmmaking in postwar Japan. Professor Roland Domenig of the University of Vienna will present "Independent Cinema and the Shinjuku Bunka Theatre", Japanese filmmaker Hirasaw Go will talk about "Underground Film in the 1960s and 1970s in Japan" and Hayashi will present a lecture titled "Return to the Womb: Politics and Sexuality in mid-1960s Pink Films".

Also on Nov. 15, Professor Jonathon Hall of the University of California will introduce a 63-minute screening of a series of short films by Japanese filmmaker Jonouchi Motoharu, at 7pm, in 004 Accolade East. Motoharu was instrumental in exploring and gathering numerous artistic and anti-art endeavors.

Additional presentations on Japanese filmmaking will take place Nov. 16, from 10am to 2pm, in the East Asian Studies Lounge in Robarts Library at the University of Toronto. Translator Sabu Kohso will present the first lecture titled "New Left Radical Movements in Japan", Hall returns to the podium to discuss "Japanese Experimental Film in the 1970s", and Professor Anne Mcknight of the University of Toronto will lecture on "When Surface Depth: Baroque, Rococo and French-ness in Japanese Subculture 1970s-2000s". Professor Eric Cazdyn, also of the University of Toronto ,will respond to the presentations.

Right: A scene from one of Jonouchi Motoharu’s short films being shown at York

A 66-minute screening of six of Japanese filmmaker Oe Masanori’s short films will run on Nov. 16 at 4pm at the University of Toronto’s Innis Town Hall. Masanori’s filmmaking was inspired by the possibilities of the psychedelic movement.

Filmmaker Okabe Michio’s 93-minute, 16-mm film Crazy Love will screen on Nov. 19 at 6pm, Room 135, Centre for Film and Theatre at York University. Michio began his career in fine arts, but quickly switched to filmmaking. Crazy Love, made in 1968, was his first feature length film, an experimental movie that eschewed narrative and meaning.

Admission is free to most events, except the Reel Asian Film Festival screening of Oe Masanori’s works on Nov. 16.

Funding and support was provided by York’s Department of Film, Cine Club York, The Japan Foundation, The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival and the Department of East Asian Studies at the University of Toronto.

For more information contact, York Professor Sharon Hayashi at or visit the one of the following Web sites:, or