Masao Adachi

Masao Adachi

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February 20, 2013 - March 27, 2013

In parallel with Eric Baudelaire’s solo exhibition, now here then elsewhere, Beirut art center gives carte blanche to the artist to propose a screening program around the same theme.

Screening 1: Wednesday, February 20 a.k.a. serial killer (Masao Adachi, 1969, 86′, Japanese with English subtitles) courtesy of Adachi, Masao screening committee

A companion to Nagisa Oshima’s the man who left his will on film, a.k.a serial killer documented the social upheaval and political oppression that roiled Japan in the 1960s. Director Adachi, screenwriter Sasaki and film critic Matsuda put fukeiron (landscape theory) into practice in their profile of nineteen-year-old serial killer Norio Nagayama. An indictment of media sensationalism, the film humanizes the young man by situating his crimes in the larger context of his environment.

Screening 2: Wednesday, March 20 prisoner / terrorist (Masao Adachi, 2011/2007, 113′, Japanese with English subtitles)

During a suicide attack on an airport, the hand grenade of ‘m’, one of three terrorists, malfunctions, and he is captured. Maltreated in prison, he slowly loses his grip on reality, as is forced to confront his ideological convictions. Prisoner/terrorist was Adachi’s first film in 35 years and is inspired by Japanese red army member Kozo Okamoto, who was imprisoned by the Israeli government after perpetrating the infamous massacre at Lod airport in 1972.

Screening 3: Wednesday, March 27 red army / plfp: declaration of world war (Masao Adachi and Koji Wakamatsu, 1971, 71′, 16 mm, Japanese with English subtitles)

Returning from the 1971 Cannes film festival, Adachi and Koji Wakamatsu traveled to Lebanon to collaborate with the red army and the popular front for the liberation of Palestine (both of whose ranks Adachi would later join) to make a radical propaganda newsreel promoting the Palestinian resistance against Israel. the purest expression of Adachi’s call for a “cinema for the revolution,” red army/plfp: declaration of world war interweaves footage of Palestine refugee camps, freedom fighters in training and landscape theory-style imagery of city and landscapes over which plays a soundtrack of fiery speeches openly embracing armed violence and Maoist revolution as an effective means to reinvent the world order. Adachi and Wakamatsu used guerrilla methods to independently distribute and exhibit red army/plfp: declaration of world war, sending the film via the “red bus film screening troop” throughout Europe and Palestine.