SUMIKO HANEDA SESSION
The work of Japanese filmmaker Sumiko Haneda (Dalian, 1926) has been internationally acclaimed in recent years. Focusing on the documentary field, she is a pioneering director in her country at a time when access to film directing for a woman was more than exceptional. Her career was initially linked to the historic production company Iwanami, and she later continued as an independent filmmaker. Her film territory is prolific, ranging from nature films to Japanese arts and traditions and social issues.
Recently, research groups and exhibition spaces, such as the Cinema Ritrovato in Bologna or the Jeu de Paume in Paris, have updated her relevant legacy and contextualised her valuable trajectory. The festival La Inesperada will show two of her most emblematic films, accompanying the screening of the conversation Introduction to Haneda Sumiko’s documentaries with two researchers specialised in her work and largely responsible for its recovery, Marcos Pablo Centeno and Irene González-López.
Place: Filmoteca de Catalunya Date: Saturday 4/3, with conversation, at 18:00 and Sunday 5/3 at 20:00
Proyecto I+D El boom cultural japonés y surcoreano en España: aspectos culturales, políticos y socioeconómicos PID2021-122897NB-I00 financiado por MCIN/AEI /10.13039/501100011033 / FEDER, UE.
KODAI NO BI / BEAUTY OF THE ANCIENTS
Commentary: “Commissioned by the Tokyo National Museum, this film, regarded in some quarters as the masterpiece of Haneda’s Iwanami period, is one of several in which she documented Japan’s ancient and classical artistic treasures. Here she focuses on the Tokyo National Museum’s collection of art from the earliest eras of Japan’s (pre)history, including earthenware pottery and the striking terracotta figurines known as haniwa. Carefully framed details, precisely judged lighting and exploratory camera movements illuminate the beauty and distinctiveness of the artworks” (Alex Jacoby, Johan Nordström, Cinema Ritrovato).
Director: Sumiko Haneda Country and year: Japan, 1958 Duration: 22′ Language: Japanese, Catalan subtitles. Screening format: 16mm
Usuzumi no sakura / The Cherry Tree with Gray Blossoms
Commentary: “From the age of 45, I had the opportunity to produce works that were really my own. That’s how I made The Cherry Tree with Grey Blossoms. It is one of my main works. I was inspired by a 1300-year-old cherry tree that I discovered by chance in 1969 (…) With my little sister as my partner for the project, we were thinking of using her poems to make a short film as a kind of musical piece singing the tree’s praises. But she fell ill, it was cancer, and she passed away exactly one year later (…). After her death, the initial musical plan disappeared and I was strongly attracted by the fascinating atmosphere of the cherry tree. While talking to the tree, I tried to capture its appearance in each of the four seasons. One year would have been enough to film four seasons, but the shooting took two and a half years. I didn’t have much free time. I needed another year and a half to finish a film that is only 43 minutes long. When I made it, I thought, ‘It’s OK if no one sees it. I’ll do whatever I want’. For someone like me, who had spent years making films for Iwanami, it became an act of self-search”.
(Extracts from Entretiens, témoignages, commentaires, by Teresa Marcos and Ricardo Matos Cabo, Débordements, october 2022).
Director: Sumiko Haneda. Country and year: Japan, 1977. Duration: 42′. Language: Japanese, Catalan and English subtitles. Screening format: 16mm