I was impressed with some of the short films I saw recently from China, Japan and Korea. I therefore conspired to concoct a program from these films in which the personal vision, the view from the camera, or some aspect of their construction applied to this theme. The Japanese animation by Mika Seike and Rieko Ouchi are intensely introspective and use looping, repetition, variation and experimental techniques to portray a vision of the world as seen behind the eyes, somewhere between the retina and the brain where we don’t yet understand what we are seeing. The Korean films by Chanion Kim, Sejun Huh and Forest Ian Estler are metaphors for cinema; their construction make us aware of our position as viewers seeing an alternative reality, when that reality suddenly breaks down. Sandy Ding’s Dream Enclosure, handmade in China, translates into film the flickering synapses of our optic nerve, whether our eyes are open are shut.
Gakagami (Deep in Reflection)
Mika Seike, 2012
Japan, 6’, Video
The theme of this film is introspection. A woman is pausing in a forest. She repeats and gazes at herself, then gets down and goes into her thinking.
Chanion Kim, 2015
South Korea, 11’, DCP
This inventive and macabre film takes you for a ride on a high-rise elevator alongside a curious kid, texting teenagers and a couple that won’t stop arguing.
Mammoth Man, the Ancient Warrior
Sejun Heo, 2014
South Korea, 12’, Video
During a bizarre event, this is what the Super Sentai TV series actor Green experienced on the set when left alone.
Mika Seike, 2016
Japan, 8’, Video
You fall down every time before reaching your goal. At each fall, the glass you held in your hand breaks, then everything starts again from the beginning. But there are things one can only discover through repetition. The answer lies within yourself.
Forest Ian Estler and Sébastien Simon, 2015
South Korea, 20’, DCP
Shenanigans occur in an apartment shared by two Korean women as one of them brings home a man that she picked up in a club and two thieves invade the place. Meanwhile, a fan oscillates and observes.
I Have the Future
Rieko Ouchi, 2016
Japan, 15’, Video
An animation depicting the life of “Me,” this film expresses a sense of self-division. It is a jumble of elements.
Sandy Ding, 2014
China, 19’, Video
Looping, flickering imagery and echoing sound create an immersive and hypnotic space that hovers constantly between reality and dream. Ding’s meticulous mastery of film techniques forges a material connection with bodies and landscapes that manifests in the afterimage.