Directed by: Nobuhiko Ōbayashi
Length: 40 minutes
Classification rating: Unclassified 15+ (under 15s must be accompanied by an adult)
Screens in: Canberra, Brisbane and Sydney
Sun-kissed youth, a love triangle and a vampire
Opening with a dedication to Roger Vadim’s Blood and Roses, Emotion intersperses slow-motion cuts and colour filters with voiceovers featuring selective English translations by Japanese film scholar Donald Richie, offering a topsy-turvy slice of nostalgia-tinted youth. The dreamlike world of this experimental short film from the late Nobuhiko Ōbayashi depicts a young girl named Emi who moves from her seaside home to the city. There, she befriends a girl named Sari, and the two enjoy sun-kissed, youthful days together until both Emi and Sari fall in love with the same man, leading one to turn her jealous desire toward an enigmatic vampire played by Ōbayashi himself.
But for this surreal short film, the plot takes a back seat to a cross-genre hotchpotch of cinematic styles and techniques in mesmerising succession. From a vampire drinking blood out of a straw to John Wayne-style shootouts, Emotion showcases Ōbayashi’s avant-garde techniques and a whimsical style that would later capture the hearts of horror fans with his cult hit House.
Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
Director: Nobuhiko Ōbayashi
Cast: Sari Akasaka and Kyōko Hanyū
Genre: Horror, Short Film
Language(s): In Japanese with English subtitles
Format: 16mm colour
This film is part of the JFF Classics 2020 program, Provocation and Disruption: Radical Japanese Filmmaking from the 1960s to the 2000s.
From subversive Japanese New Wave cinema to surrealist psychedelic expressions and gritty cyberpunk, Provocation and Disruption features boundary-shattering masterpieces from avant-garde Japanese auteurs including Seijun Suzuki, Shinya Tsukamoto and Nobuhiko Ōbayashi. The program is all about the poetic, the abstract, the visceral and the abrasive in visionary Japanese cinema. This program broadly encapsulates films that were fiercely uncompromising and transcended convention, each leaving its unique mark on Japan’s film industry.