Cutting-edge film: Nishikawa to present new work at New York Film Festival

When we think of a film, we often imagine a product and not a performance: scripted and carefully shot scenes, hours spent on the floor of the editing room.

Associate Professor and President of Cinema’s new film Tomonari Nishikawa, Six seventy-two variants: Variation 1, tears that image to shreds – literally, with a woodcarving knife. The film is also a live performance and will premiere on October 3-4 at New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center. It will appear in Current Program 8: Vibrating Matter with the work of other abstract filmmakers, including that of cinema teacher Daïchi Saïto earthland.

Filmmakers from around the world submit their work to the festival, which is dear to Nishikawa’s heart; his graduation thesis project “Apollo” was first presented there in public in 2003, the same year he graduated from Binghamton University. At the time, this was part of Vanguard views, which then turned into Projections and now, Currents. Throughout all of the name changes, the series continues to feature innovative and experimental films and videos.

In 2013, Nishikawa performed an earlier version of this piece at Spool contemporary art space in Johnson City.

“I had worked on the other film projects since then, but the pandemic would give me the opportunity to focus on this performance piece, as I couldn’t travel to work on the other projects,” he said. declared.

The title refers to the 16mm looping film he uses in the performance, which has 672 frames, the length of film his spring-loaded camera can operate when fully rolled up.

Wielding the knife, Nishikawa creates an abstract meditation in motion, his sharp edges sculpting lines on a blank loop of running film during the projection process. The dark gray background subtly changes during this cutting process, while the white lines soar in horizontal motion over the flickering film grain.

It also scratches the area of ​​the film reserved for the optical soundtrack, producing the throbbing percussive noise that serves as the film’s score. Due to the distance between the projector grille and the position of the photocell that reads the visual information for sound, the noise appears approximately one second after the striped pattern appears on the screen.

“I don’t intend to convey a message to the audience, but some viewers might feel something during the duration of the performance,” Nishikawa said. “This piece is like an abstract animation more than noise music.”

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