Ten Mornings Ten Evenings and One Horizon (2016)
Directed by Tomonari Nishikawa
Nishikawa makes extraordinarily beautiful films about the ordinary world. The Japan-born filmmaker (who teaches in the Cinema Department at Binghamton University, his alma mater) gently renders his surroundings gently through a variety of formats, with the video, 8mm, 16mm, and 35mm materials collaborating to reflect one modest point of view. His cinema works (including five pieces collectively belonging to a series called Sketch Film) present with flickering simplicity the pleasures of finding a newspaper, crossing a street, and examining color celluloid once left under fallen leaves. Nishikawa’s brief works will be presented together in a single program during the Migrating Forms series at BAM. Twelve years’ worth of filmmaking will unfold over 64 minutes, followed by a conversation with the artist.
“The project came to mind when I found out that the river’s source was in my father’s birth village,” says Nishikawa about his latest, ten-minute film, which he shot on color 16mm. “I thought that it would be interesting to show a series of shots of the river as a metaphor for life’s journey, then came up with the idea of shooting bridges as markers of certain moments in time. I decided to shoot in the morning and evening with masking and multiple-exposure techniques that I hoped would enhance the sunrise and sunset, as well as cohere shots registered across different locations. I ultimately photographed ten bridges, each of them twice—once in the morning from the east side, and once in the evening from the west. I tried to always capture the entire bridge within the frame. The film gradually progresses from medium to extreme long shots as the river widens on its way to the ocean. The sounds throughout most of the film come primarily from water, from birds, and from offscreen vehicles; at the end, though, a small aircraft is heard, encouraging audience members to look up at the sky.” Aaron Cutler (March 26, 7pm at BAM, as part of a Nishikawa program within the Migrating Forms festival)