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Twilights

Japan, 1994 (MIFF 1995, Experimental)

Director: Tengai Amano

A true cinema of surrealism is often alluded to but is now rarely practised-Twilights genuinely returns to the film strategies of early Hans Richter and Luis Bunuel and reiterates Andre Breton's surrealist manifesto. The universal-the secret psychological desires concealed within culture's nostalgia for the lost - hovers over the film. But Twilights is also about a particular histo­ry and mass emotional loss, the utter dislocation between the pre and postwar Japanese social epochs and their social codes.

There are the disassociations of surreal art-odd ellipsis, jump cuts metamorphoses, narra­tives only explicable at symbolic levels. Also familiar is a peculiar talismanic affectation for pleasant recollections of Japanese social life and the popular cinema history which is its companion.

However this recreation of the flat Tokyo sub­urban industrial wasteland and its characters from the pre-war silent salaryman genre (best known to us from Ozu' s I was born but... ) is a sinis­ter fly trap capturing from cinephelic pleasures the dark symbols of an approaching disaster.

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